Mark Dykman, Michigan State University

Topic: Topic: "Quantum Activation and quantum Measurements With NonLinear Oscillators"  (Video)

ABSTRACT: We study metastable decay in systems far from thermal equilibrium. Interest in the problem has spiked recently in the context of quantum measurements, nanomechanical systems, Josephson junctions, and cavity electrodynamics. The familiar decay mechanisms are tunneling and thermal activation. We show that periodically modulated systems display a different mechanism, which we call quantum activation. The decay rate shows scaling behavior near critical parameter values where metastable vibrational states disappear. The power spectra of modulated oscillators have specific features that allow measuring the effective oscillator temperature imposed by quantum fluctuations. In the talk, a comparison with the experimental observations will be made.