30 years of Quantronics

Paris, June 22 to 25, 2015

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Does quantum mechanics apply to macroscopic variables? This question was raised immediately after the development of Quantum Mechanics but could be addressed experimentally only in the eighties. Following the ideas of Anthony Leggett, the goal was to design and fabricate Josephson junction circuits that could display quantum effects in their macroscopic electromagnetic variables. This triggered an intense experimental activity, in particular in the group of John Clarke in Berkeley and in the Quantronics group, founded in Saclay by three disciples of John. At about the same time, the field of mesoscopic physics, dealing with electronic transport effects originating from the quantum coherence of electrons in metals, was also developed.

Three decades later, these two domains have reached a prominent position both in the condensed matter and the quantum information communities, and a remarkable link with the concepts of atomic physics has emerged. The ability to engineer a circuit Hamiltonian by microfabrication, and the versatility of microwaves that play the role of lasers, has allowed experiments with quantum electrical circuits to rival, and in some cases even surpass, their equivalents in atomic physics. Nowadays, many laboratories worldwide develop quantum circuits to both probe sophisticated predictions of quantum mechanics and to fabricate quantum limited detectors and amplifiers. Some of the leading groups are even carrying out strong programs to build a quantum computer. These developments have benefited from the understanding of the fundamental phenomena at play in mesoscopic superconductivity.

To celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Quantronics group, we organize a workshop to be held in Paris, from June 22 to 25, 2015. It will gather many of those who started the field of mesoscopic and quantum circuits as well as its younger actors to discuss present day developments including the exploration of the foundations of superconductivity, the quantum information applications, and the experiments spotlighting the subtle and rich resources of quantum mechanics.

Organizers: D. Estève, P. Lafarge, H. Pothier and C. Urbina.

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