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Phys Rev Lett. 2011 Feb 18;106(7):077002. Epub 2011 Feb 16.

Quasiparticle relaxation of superconducting qubits in the presence of flux.

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Department of Physics, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut 06520, USA.


Quasiparticle tunneling across a Josephson junction sets a limit for the lifetime of a superconducting qubit state. We develop a general theory of the corresponding decay rate in a qubit controlled by a magnetic flux. The flux affects quasiparticles tunneling amplitudes, thus making the decay rate flux-dependent. The theory is applicable for an arbitrary quasiparticle distribution. It provides estimates for the rates in practically important quantum circuits and also offers a new way of measuring the phase-dependent admittance of a Josephson junction.

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