Josephson junctions as detectors for non-Gaussian noise


  • This article is dedicated to Hermann Grabert on the occasion of his 60th birthday.


Non-Gaussian fluctuations of the electrical current can be detected with a Josephson junction placed on-chip with the noise source. We present preliminary measurements with an NIS junction as a noise source, and a Josephson junction in the thermal escape regime as a noise detector. It is shown that the Josephson junction detects not only the average noise, which manifests itself as an increased effective temperature, but also the noise asymmetry. A theoretical description of the thermal escape of a Josephson junction in presence of noise with a non-zero third cumulant is presented, together with numerical simulations when the noise source is a tunnel junction with Poisson noise. Comparison between experiment and theory is discussed.