Demonstrating a single photon router

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We have embedded an artificial atom, a superconducting "transmon" qubit, in an open transmission line and investigated the strong scattering of incident microwave photons (~GHz). When an input coherent state, with an average photon number N<<1 is on resonance with the artificial atom, we observe extinction of up to 90% in the forward propagating field. We use two-tone spectroscopy to study scattering from excited states and we observe electromagnetically induced transparency (EIT). We then use EIT to make a single-photon router, where we can control to what output port an incoming signal is delivered. The maximum on-off ratio is around 90% with a rise and fall time on the order of nanoseconds, consistent with theoretical expectations. The router can easily be extended to have multiple output ports and it can be viewed as a rudimentary quantum node, an important step towards building quantum information networks.