Resolving vacuum fluctuations in an electrical circuit by measuring the lamb shift

A. Fragner, M. Göppl, J.M. Fink, M. Baur, R. Bianchetti, P. Leek, A. Blais, A. Wallraff, Science 322 (2008) 1357–1360.

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Abstract
Quantum theory predicts that empty space is not truly empty. Even in the absence of any particles or radiation, in pure vacuum, virtual particles are constantly created and annihilated. In an electromagnetic field, the presence of virtual photons manifests itself as a small renormalization of the energy of a quantum system, known as the Lamb shift. We present an experimental observation of the Lamb shift in a solid-state system. The strong dispersive coupling of a superconducting electronic circuit acting as a quantum bit (qubit) to the vacuum field in a transmission-line resonator leads to measurable Lamb shifts of up to 1.4% of the qubit transition frequency. The qubit is also observed to couple more strongly to the vacuum field than to a single photon inside the cavity, an effect that is explained by taking into account the limited anharmonicity of the higher excited qubit states.
Publishing Year
Date Published
2008-11-28
Journal Title
Science
Acknowledgement
This work was supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation and ETHZ. P.J.L. was supported by the European Commission with a Marie Curie Intra-European Fellowship. A.B. was supported by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, and Fonds Québécois de la Recherche sur la Nature et les Technologies
Volume
322
Issue
5906
Page
1357 - 1360
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Fragner A, Göppl M, Fink JM, et al. Resolving vacuum fluctuations in an electrical circuit by measuring the lamb shift. Science. 2008;322(5906):1357-1360. doi:10.1126/science.1164482
Fragner, A., Göppl, M., Fink, J. M., Baur, M., Bianchetti, R., Leek, P., … Wallraff, A. (2008). Resolving vacuum fluctuations in an electrical circuit by measuring the lamb shift. Science, 322(5906), 1357–1360. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1164482
Fragner, A, M Göppl, Johannes M Fink, Matthias Baur, R Bianchetti, Peter Leek, Alexandre Blais, and Andreas Wallraff. “Resolving Vacuum Fluctuations in an Electrical Circuit by Measuring the Lamb Shift.” Science 322, no. 5906 (2008): 1357–60. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1164482.
A. Fragner et al., “Resolving vacuum fluctuations in an electrical circuit by measuring the lamb shift,” Science, vol. 322, no. 5906, pp. 1357–1360, 2008.
Fragner A, Göppl M, Fink JM, Baur M, Bianchetti R, Leek P, Blais A, Wallraff A. 2008. Resolving vacuum fluctuations in an electrical circuit by measuring the lamb shift. Science. 322(5906), 1357–1360.
Fragner, A., et al. “Resolving Vacuum Fluctuations in an Electrical Circuit by Measuring the Lamb Shift.” Science, vol. 322, no. 5906, American Association for the Advancement of Science, 2008, pp. 1357–60, doi:10.1126/science.1164482.

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