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Wilfrid Laurier University Faculty of Science
February 21, 2017
Canadian Excellence
J. Blackburn

Dr. James Blackburn

Professor Emeritus, Physics & Computer Science

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Research Interests: This research program is focused on the dynamical properties of nonlinear systems, especially superconducting devices and periodically driven oscillators. An ongoing collaboration with Niels Jensen (Davis) and Matteo Cirillo (Rome) is directed at the development of theoretical models to describe the interactions of coupled superconducting qubits. Also of interest are the transitions out of the zero voltage state that occur when Josephson junctions are subjected to steadily increasing bias currents. It is widely thought that at very low temperatures junctions might enter a macroscopic quantum state and that the switch to finite voltage would occur via macroscopic quantum tunneling. We have been exploring the possibility that non-quantum physics (thermal and resonant activation) might predict the experimentally observed features of the process. The research methodology is numerical modeling and simulation, but for certain problems electronic circuits are designed that function as analogs of the physical systems. This latter approach provides an experimental route to these investigations.