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Wiring up Quantum Systems: Fun with Artificial Atoms and Microwave Photons

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A revolution is underway in the construction of ‘artificial atoms’ out
of superconducting electrical circuits. 
These macroscopic ‘atoms’ have quantized energy levels and can emit and
absorb quanta of light (in this case microwave photons), just like ordinary
atoms.  Unlike ‘real’ atoms, the
properties of these artificial atoms can be engineered to suit various
particular applications, and they can be connected together by wires to form
quantum ‘computer chips.’  This so-called
‘circuit QED’ architecture has given us the ability to do non-linear quantum
optics in electrical circuits at the single photon level.  It is now possible to entangle multiple
qubits, count individual microwave photons, create large ‘Schrödinger cat’
photon states and perform quantum feedback. 
This talk will present an elementary introduction to the field.