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Macroscopic quantum tunneling in a dc SQUID


The theory of macroscopic quantum tunneling is applied to a current-biased dc SQUID whose dynamics can be described by a two-dimensional mechanical system with a dissipative environment. Based on the phenomenological model proposed by Caldeira and Leggett, the dissipative environment is represented by a set of harmonic oscillators coupling to the system. After integrating out the environmental degrees of freedom, an effective Euclidean action is found for the two-dimensional system. The action is used to provide the quantum tunneling rate formalism for the dc SQUID. Under certain conditions, the tunneling rate reduces to that of a single current-biased Josephson junction with an adjustable effective critical current.

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Chen, YC. Macroscopic quantum tunneling in a dc SQUID. J Low Temp Phys 65, 133–147 (1986).

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  • Rate Formalism
  • Mechanical System
  • Harmonic Oscillator
  • Phenomenological Model
  • Critical Current