Macroscopic Quantum Coherence and Quantum Computing

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This volume is an outgrowth of the Second International Workshop on Macroscopic Quantum Coherence and Computing held in Napoli, Italy, in June 2000. This workshop gathered a number of experts from the major Universities and Research Institutions of several countries. The choice of the location, which recognizes the role and the traditions of Naples in this field, guaranteed the participants a stimulating atmosphere. The aim of the workshop has been to report on the recent theoretical and experimental results on the macroscopic quantum coherence of macroscopic systems. Particular attention was devoted to Josephson devices. The correlation with other atomic and molecular systems, exhibiting a macroscopic quantum behaviour, was also discussed. The seminars provided both historical overview and recent theoretical ground on the topic, as well as information on new experimental results relative to the quantum computing area. The first workshop on this topic, held in Napoli in 1998, has been ennobled by important reports on observations of Macroscopic Quantum Coherence in mesoscopic systems. The current workshop proposed, among many stimulating results, the first observations of Macroscopic Quantum Coherence between macroscopically distinct fluxoid states in rf SQUIDs, 20 years after the Leggett's proposal to experimentally test the quantum behavior of macroscopic systems. Reports on observations of quantum behaviour in molecular and magnetic systems, small Josephson devices, quantum dots have also been particularly stimulating in view of the realization of several possible q-bits.