Josephson junctions - career killer?

Spoiler alert: note, this is NOT a career killer!

The original 2006 "Unknown Editor" career killer article is located here

Meanwhile we are reconsidering past judgments a little at a time, and in some cases, eating our words. 

A Josephson junction is made from two super-conductors separated by a very thin (perhaps 10 angstrom) insulator.  Electrons can tunnel through the insulator and do magical things like have non-zero current at zero volts, and present a "stair-step" I-V curve.  A pretty good explanation on the topic can be found in the 1968 paper, available on IEEE Xplore

L. Solymar, "Josephson junctions▀×all-purpose components of the future?," in Electronics and Power, vol. 14, no. 8, pp. 316-318, August 1968, doi: 10.1049/ep.1968.0288.

Back in the prior century, if you were just a "normal" engineer trying to get stuff done, Josephson junctions seemed just a weird research topic.  A basement full of cryo equipment and a huge power bill to operate a single flip-flop seemed like a waste of time. In 2006 we wrote:

Josephson Junctions

Does anyone even remember this stuff? Or was it just a nightmare like cold fusion?

Then "Colin" weighed in, back in July 2011, with:

So you asked whatever happened to Josephson Junctions...... here's the latest:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D-Wave_Systems#Lockheed_Martin_and_D-Wave_collaboration (updated link October 2022)

Yep, quantum supercomputers use them. And LockMart (home of everyday low prices for all your defense needs) just bought one.

Here we are in 2022.  Josephson junctions are a huge topic for superconducting qubits, which are at the heart of quantum computers.  As of 31 October, the IEEE has published 25 papers on Josephson Junctions this year alone.

We are not going to overthink this but for now, we will take back our opinion that Josephson junctions are a career killer.  But when will a true quantum laptop be offered on Amazon?

Here's a entire book on Josephson junctions, if you want to pursue this technology.  Good luck, and don't beleive everything you read on the internet!

 

 

Author : Unknown Editor