Single photon detection
Information is often transmitted using electromagnetic radiation, the quantum units of which are photons. In the microwave regime, detecting single itinerant photons at the receiving end of a transmission channel is challenging since microwave photons possess 5 orders of magnitude less energy than their optical counterparts. In this work, we show how to transfer the information content of a propagating photon into an excitation of a stationary qubit. By reading out the state of the latter, we acquire knowledge about the photon’s presence without destroying it. This ‘non-demolition’ aspect opens up new possibilities of detecting the photon in flight while allowing it to travel on towards another destination.