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Revealing the finite-frequency response of a bosonic quantum impurity

Sébastien Léger, Théo Sépulcre, Dorian Fraudet, Olivier Buisson, Cécile Naud, Wiebke Hasch-Guichard, Serge Florens, Izak Snyman, Denis M. Basko, Nicolas Roch

SciPost Phys. 14, 130 (2023) · published 25 May 2023

Abstract

Quantum impurities are ubiquitous in condensed matter physics and constitute the most stripped-down realization of many-body problems. While measuring their finite-frequency response could give access to key characteristics such as excitations spectra or dynamical properties, this goal has remained elusive despite over two decades of studies in nanoelectronic quantum dots. Conflicting experimental constraints of very strong coupling and large measurement bandwidths must be met simultaneously. We get around this problem using cQED tools, and build a precisely characterized quantum simulator of the boundary sine-Gordon model, a non-trivial bosonic impurity problem. We succeeded to fully map out the finite frequency linear response of this system. Its reactive part evidences a strong renormalisation of the nonlinearity at the boundary in agreement with non-perturbative calculations. Its dissipative part reveals a striking many-body broadening caused by multi-photon conversion. The experimental results are matched quantitatively to a perturbative calculation based on a microscopically calibrated model. Furthermore, we push the device into a regime where perturbative calculations break down, which calls for more advanced theoretical tools to model many-body quantum circuits. We also critically examine the technological limitations of cQED platforms to reach universal scaling laws. This work opens exciting perspectives for the future such as quantifying quantum entanglement in the vicinity of a quantum critical point or accessing the dynamical properties of non-trivial many-body problems.

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