Magnetic resonance with quantum microwaves
In usual magnetic resonance experiments, the coupling between spins and their electromagnetic environment is quite weak, severely limiting the sensitivity of the measurements and any interaction at the quantum level between spins and microwaves. In this lecture, I will show that using a Josephson parametric microwave amplifier combined with high-quality factor superconducting micro-resonators cooled at millikelvin temperatures enable the implementation of a magnetic resonance spectrometer where the detection sensitivity is limited by quantum fluctuations of the electromagnetic field instead of thermal or technical noise. The small mode volume superconducting microwave resonator also enhances the spin-resonator coupling up to the point where quantum fluctuations have an effect on the spin dynamics: The spin spontaneous emission of microwave photons in the resonator is dramatically enhanced by the Purcell effect, making it the dominant spin relaxation mechanism. This provides a novel and general way to initialize spin systems into their ground state.