Testing time reversal symmetry in artificial atoms

Frederico Brito, Francisco Rouxinol, M. D. Lahaye, Amir O. Caldeira

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Over the past several decades, a rich series of experiments has repeatedly verified the quantum nature of superconducting devices, leading some of these systems to be regarded as artificial atoms. In addition to their application in quantum information processing, these 'atoms' provide a test bed for studying quantum mechanics in macroscopic limits. Regarding the last point, we present here a feasible protocol for directly testing time reversal symmetry (TRS) through the verification of the microreversibility principle in a superconducting artificial atom. TRS is a fundamental property of quantum mechanics and is expected to hold if the dynamics of the artificial atom strictly follow the Schrödinger equation. However, this property has yet to be tested in any macroscopic quantum system. In the end, as an application of this work, we outline how the successful implementation of the protocol would provide the first verification of the quantum work fluctuation theorems with superconducting systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number075002
JournalNew Journal of Physics
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2015


  • artificial atoms
  • macroscopic quantum mechanics
  • microreversibility principle
  • superconducting devices
  • time reversal symmetry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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