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Published November 15, 2005 | Published
Journal Article Open

Dynamics of a two-level system strongly coupled to a high-frequency quantum oscillator


Recent experiments on quantum behavior in microfabricated solid-state systems suggest tantalizing connections to quantum optics. Several of these experiments address the prototypical problem of cavity quantum electrodynamics: a two-level system coupled to a quantum harmonic oscillator. Such devices may allow the exploration of parameter regimes outside the near-resonance and weak-coupling assumptions of the ubiquitous rotating-wave approximation (RWA), necessitating other theoretical approaches. One such approach is an adiabatic approximation in the limit that the oscillator frequency is much larger than the characteristic frequency of the two-level system. A derivation of the approximation is presented, together with a discussion of its applicability in a system consisting of a Cooper-pair box coupled to a nanomechanical resonator. Within this approximation the time evolution of the two-level-system occupation probability is calculated using both thermal- and coherent-state initial conditions for the oscillator, focusing particularly on collapse and revival phenomena. For thermal-state initial conditions parameter regimes are found in which collapse and revival regions may be clearly distinguished, unlike the erratic evolution of the thermal-state RWA model. Coherent-state initial conditions lead to complex behavior, which exhibits sensitive dependence on the coupling strength and the initial amplitude of the oscillator state. One feature of the regime considered here is that closed-form evaluation of the time evolution may be carried out in the weak-coupling limit, which provides insight into the differences between the thermal- and coherent-state models. Finally, potential experimental observations in solid-state systems, particularly the Cooper-pair box—nanomechanical resonator system, are discussed and found to be promising.

Additional Information

© 2005 The American Physical Society. Received 12 August 2005; published 10 November 2005. Helpful discussions with Keith Miller, Alex Hutchinson, Carlos Sanchez, Akshay Naik, and Marc Manheimer, are gratefully acknowledged. E.K.I. acknowledges support from the National Physical Sciences Consortium and the Army Research Office.

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Published - IrishPhysRevB.72.195410.pdf


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August 19, 2023
October 19, 2023