High frequency experiments and methods (WS13/14)



High frequency techniques (RF and microwave) play an increasingly prominent role in many areas of experimental physics because they can probe and control the dynamics of physical systems at the relevant time scale and achieve extraordinary sensitivities. They are also heavily used in industry. This course aims to provide a basic working knowledge of high frequency techniques, components and instruments used in modern experiments, such as:

  • Coaxial cables and waveguides
  • Passive components
    (attenuators, mixers, couplers, circulators etc.)
  • Amplifiers
  • Diagnostic and measurement instruments
    (oscilloscopes, time domain reflectometry, vector networ analyzer)
  • Low temperature considerations

The presentation will be tailored to the needs of an experimental physicist. Course activities also include demonstrations and hands on experiments with high frequency components and equipment. Furthermore, we will discuss important papers relying heavily on high frequency techniques, focussing on condensed matter experiments.

Topics may include:

  • RF readout of single electron transistors and quantum point contacts
  • Parametric sub-quantum limit amplification
  • Circuit quantum electrodynamics with superconducting cavities
  • Dispersive microwave readout for sensors and qubits
  • Qubit control
  • Classical and quantum noise