J. M. Fink, M. Baur, R. Bianchetti, S. Filipp, M. Göppl, P. J. Leek, L. Steffen, A. Blais, A. Wallraff


The exceptionally strong coupling realizable between superconducting qubits and photons stored in an on-chip microwave resonator allows for the detailed study of matter-light interactions in the realm of circuit quantum electrodynamics (QED). Here we investigate the resonant interaction between a single transmon-type multilevel artificial atom and weak thermal and coherent fields. We explore up to three photon dressed states of the coupled system in a linear response heterodyne transmission measurement. The results are in good quantitative agreement with a generalized Jaynes-Cummings model. Our data indicates that the role of thermal fields in resonant cavity QED can be studied in detail using superconducting circuits.