Physics Colloquium: Superconducting Quantum Information Processors – from Dream to Reality

Harnessing the power of intrinsic quantum parallelism for information processing is a dream for many decades. In recent years, breakthroughs in the development of superconducting quantum circuits and circuit QED makes the superconducting approach one of the most promising candidates for scalable quantum information processing. Superconducting qubits, such as the charge, flux, and phase qubits, are engineered artificial atoms with many distinctive advantages: they can be fabricated using modern integrated circuit technology; their properties can be characterized and adjusted in situ; long coherence times; fast single- and multi-qubit gates with high fidelity, and the circuits can be expanded to form large-scale quantum processors. In particular, it has been demonstrated that a superconducting resonator provides a quantized cavity field which can mediate long-range and fast interaction between distant superconducting qubits. More importantly, by exploiting the super-exchange pair interactions mediated by two-level couplers (or resonators) between qubits one can build scalable quantum information networks. I will give an incomplete review on the superconducting approach to quantum information processing and report some of our recent results in this increasingly exciting research field.