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Quantum phase slip
Webster, Carol H. Quantum Detection Group, National Physical Laboratory, Teddington, Middlesex, United Kingdom.
- Charge-phase duality
- Technology and state of the art
- Possible applications
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
Quantum phase slip (QPS) is a phenomenon that occurs in ultranarrow superconducting nanowires and other superconducting nanostructures. In a superconductor cooled below its critical temperature Tc, electrical current can flow without resistance. However, when the radius of a superconducting nanowire is sufficiently small, quantum energy fluctuations can cause portions of the nanowire instantaneously to enter the normal resistive state. The superconducting state is characterized by a wave function with an amplitude and phase. During a quantum fluctuation, the amplitude drops temporarily to zero. When this occurs, the phase is undefined and can jump by a multiple of 2π (Fig. 1a). This is known as QPS and temporarily blocks the flow of current along the nanowire.
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