Quantum voltage standards
Williams, Jonathan Time, Quantum and Electromagnetics Division, National Physical Laboratory, Teddington, Middlesex, United Kingdom.
- Josephson junction
- Junction as a voltage standard
- Junction parameters
- Josephson junction arrays
- Junction technology
- Voltage measurements
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
A quantum standard of voltage is made possible by the Josephson effect, a remarkable property of a thin junction between two superconducting materials. The effect was predicted theoretically in 1962 by Brian Josephson, after whom it is named, and it has revolutionized the way in which standards of voltage are maintained and disseminated across the world. It relates voltage to frequency with a constant of proportionality that depends only on the Planck constant, h, and the elementary charge, e. Thus, voltage standards can be realized at any time or place with an access to just a frequency reference. It is estimated that in excess of 50 primary standards of voltage are in existence at laboratories around the world, and they work together to provide a consistent and stable basis for voltage measurement in science, engineering, and manufacturing.
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