Physicists from the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (MIPT) and Royal Holloway, University of London, have demonstrated an effect known as quantum wave mixing on an artificial atom.
Their results, published in the journal Nature Communications, could help develop quantum electronics of an entirely new kind.
Researchers from MIPT's Laboratory of Artificial Quantum Systems led by Professor Oleg Astafiev teamed up with their British colleagues to examine a superconducting quantum system, which is physically equivalent to a single atom.
Cooled to ultralow temperatures, this device emitted and absorbed single quanta of microwave radiation -- the same way that an atom interacts with photons of light.
Artificial atoms, which are at the heart of this study, are a staple of quantum optics experiments.
Physicists use these systems to investigate the processes that are otherwise hard to study, such as the emission and absorption of several photons.