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Russian scientists created a metamaterial based on 15 ‘mirror’ qubits

Russian scientists created a metamaterial based on 15 ‘mirror’ qubits

Superconducting ‘mirror’ qubits were used as a basis for a new metamaterial. To control its properties, an external magnetic field has to be used. There are two modes: in the first one, it is nontransparent for electromagnetic waves, and in the second – almost completely transparent.

What does the metamaterial consist of and what does it do?

It consists of a huge amount of meta-atoms: repeated structures. Of course, scientists create and test the new material not just out of curiosity: they can help create devices with unique features that cannot be obtained using conventional materials. For example, this metamaterial can "turn off" traces that an object forms during movement in the water and also overcome diffraction limits.

Unique characteristics of quantum metamaterials

These materials are described with equations from the field of quantum mechanics. Now they are superconducting qubits  artificial atoms, linked in chains. Their properties are very interesting: for example, in these chains, collective excitation modes sometimes occur. But in each setup, the transmission coefficient remained practically constant: that is, it was problematic to use them in practical applications.

The quantum metamaterial from 15 qubits

A team of Russian researchers was able to create a metamaterial from 15 qubits and found a transmission coefficient variability under the influence of an external magnetic field. To achieve this, scientists changed the standard scheme of an artificial atom: they created ‘mirror’ qubits, each of which used five symmetric to the central axis Josephson junctions instead of three. Due to this, the system got additional degrees of freedom. Conductivity of the chain has become strongly dependent on the magnetic field: this is explained by the variability of the ground state of the qubit and the transition energy, depending on the flow of the magnetic field that goes through the qubit.

 

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