Michael T. Fang, Martinis Group UC Santa Barbara
Courtesy: National Science Foundation
The size of the chip is about 6 mm by 6 mm. The wafer was made by depositing 200 nanometers of aluminum on a sapphire substrate, followed by a multi-layer lithography process, to nano-fabricate various elements of the quantum processor. In 2014, scientists at the University of California, Santa Barbara, in collaboration with Boston University, used one of these chips to study quantum topology and showed how superconducting qubits can help to make topological concepts tangible. Topology, in spite of its abstract mathematical constructs, often manifests itself in physics and has a pivotal role in understanding of natural phenomena. Notably, the discovery of topological phases in condensed-matter systems has changed the modern conception of phases of matter. In their research, the scientists found a novel method to directly measure topological properties of quantum systems.