Abstract:
Based on a network graph analysis of the underlying circuit, a quantum theory of arbitrary superconducting charge qubits is derived. Describing the dissipative elements of the circuit with a Caldeira-Leggett model, we calculate the decoherence and leakage rates of a charge qubit. The analysis includes decoherence due to a dissipative circuit element such as a voltage source or the quasiparticle resistances of the Josephson junctions in the circuit. The theory presented here is dual to the quantum circuit theory for superconducting flux qubits. In contrast to spin-boson models, the full Hilbert space structure of the qubit and its coupling to the dissipative environment is taken into account. Moreover, both self and mutual inductances of the circuit are fully included.

Abstract:
We report experiments on superconducting flux qubits in a circuit quantum electrodynamics (cQED) setup. Two qubits, independently biased and controlled, are coupled to a coplanar waveguide resonator. Dispersive qubit state readout reaches a maximum contrast of $72\,\%$. We find intrinsic energy relaxation times at the symmetry point of $7\,\mu\text{s}$ and $20\,\mu\text{s}$ and levels of flux noise of $2.6\,\mu \Phi_0/\sqrt{\text{Hz}}$ and $2.7\,\mu \Phi_0/\sqrt{\text{Hz}}$ at 1 Hz for the two qubits. We discuss the origin of decoherence in the measured devices. These results demonstrate the potential of cQED as a platform for fundamental investigations of decoherence and quantum dynamics of flux qubits.

Abstract:
Interaction of solid state qubits with environmental degrees of freedom strongly affects the qubit dynamics, and leads to decoherence. In quantum information processing with solid state qubits, decoherence significantly limits the performances of such devices. Therefore, it is necessary to fully understand the mechanisms that lead to decoherence. In this review we discuss how decoherence affects two of the most successful realizations of solid state qubits, namely, spin-qubits and superconducting qubits. In the former, the qubit is encoded in the spin 1/2 of the electron, and it is implemented by confining the electron spin in a semiconductor quantum dot. Superconducting devices show quantum behavior at low temperatures, and the qubit is encoded in the two lowest energy levels of a superconducting circuit. The electron spin in a quantum dot has two main decoherence channels, a (Markovian) phonon-assisted relaxation channel, due to the presence of a spin-orbit interaction, and a (non-Markovian) spin bath constituted by the spins of the nuclei in the quantum dot that interact with the electron spin via the hyperfine interaction. In a superconducting qubit, decoherence takes place as a result of fluctuations in the control parameters, such as bias currents, applied flux, and bias voltages, and via losses in the dissipative circuit elements.

Abstract:
We propose to implement tunable interaction of superconducting flux qubits with cavity-assisted interaction and strong driving. The qubits have a three-level Lambda configuration, and the decay of the excited state will be greatly suppressed due to the effective large detuning. The implemented interaction is insensitive to the cavity field state and can be controlled by modulating the phase difference of the driving fields of the qubits. In particular, our scheme is based on the typical circuit QED setup and thus will provide a simple method towards the tunable interaction of superconducting qubits. Finally, we consider the generation of two and four qubits entangled states with the constructed interaction under the influence of typical decoherence effects.

Abstract:
We introduce an extended Dicke model with controllable long-range atom-atom interaction to simulate topologically ordered states and achieve decoherence-protected qubits. We illustrate our idea in an experimentally feasible circuit quantum electrodynamics scenario. Due to the intrinsic competition with the atom-field coupling strength, we first demonstrate that this atom-atom interaction can exhibit a novel topological quantum interference effect arising from the instanton and anti-instanton tunneling paths. As a consequence, this proposed model only with a few odd-number of atoms has a two-fold absolute degenerate ground-subspace with a large energy gap, which can become larger with the increasing of the system-size. It may also support the excitation of anyonic statistics, and thus can be regarded as a possible candidate for processing topological quantum memory.

Abstract:
We present a multi-level quantum theory of decoherence for a general circuit realization of a superconducting qubit. Using electrical network graph theory, we derive a Hamiltonian for the circuit. The dissipative circuit elements (external impedances, shunt resistors) are described using the Caldeira-Leggett model. The master equation for the superconducting phases in the Born-Markov approximation is derived and brought into the Bloch-Redfield form in order to describe multi-level dissipative quantum dynamics of the circuit. The model takes into account leakage effects, i.e. transitions from the allowed qubit states to higher excited states of the system. As a special case, we truncate the Hilbert space and derive a two-level (Bloch) theory with characteristic relaxation (T_1) and decoherence (T_2) times. We apply our theory to the class of superconducting flux qubits; however, the formalism can be applied for both superconducting flux and charge qubits.

Abstract:
We review progress at UCSB on understanding the physics of decoherence in superconducting qubits. Although many decoherence mechanisms were studied and fixed in the last 5 years, the most important ones are two-level state defects in amorphous dielectrics, non-equilibrium quasiparticles generated from stray infrared light, and radiation to slotline modes. With improved design, the performance of integrated circuit transmons using the Xmon design are now close to world record performance: these devices have the advantage of retaining coherence when scaled up to 9 qubits.

Abstract:
We propose a scheme to implement a quantum information transfer protocol with a superconducting circuit and Josephson charge qubits. The information exchange is mediated by an L-C resonator used as a data bus. The main decoherence sources are analyzed in detail.

Abstract:
Superconducting, flux-based qubits are promising candidates for the construction of a large scale quantum computer. We present an explicit quantum mechanical calculation of the coherent behavior of a flux based quantum bit in a noisy experimental environment such as an integrated circuit containing bias and control electronics. We show that non-thermal noise sources, such as bias current fluctuations and magnetic coupling to nearby active control circuits, will cause decoherence of a flux-based qubit on a timescale comparable to recent experimental coherence time measurements.