We have measured the influence of shot noise on hysteretic Josephson junctions initially in the macroscopic quantum tunneling regime. The escape threshold current into the resistive state decreases monotonically with increasing average current through the scattering conductor, which is another tunnel junction. Escape is predominantly determined by excitation due to the wideband shot noise. This process is equivalent to thermal activation (TA) over the barrier at effective temperatures up to about 4 times the critical temperature of the superconductor. The presented TA model is in excellent agreement with the experimental results.
- Josephson junction