Superconducting quantum circuits are a natural platform for quantum simulations of a wide variety of important lattice models describing topological phenomena, spanning condensed matter and high-energy physics. One such model is the bosonic analogue of the well-known fermionic Kitaev chain, a 1D tight-binding model with both nearest-neighbor hopping and pairing terms. Despite being fully Hermitian, the bosonic Kitaev chain exhibits a number of striking features associated with non-Hermitian systems, including chiral transport and a dramatic sensitivity to boundary conditions known as the non-Hermitian skin effect. Here, using a multimode superconducting parametric cavity, we implement the bosonic Kitaev chain in synthetic dimensions. The lattice sites are mapped to frequency modes of the cavity, and the $\textit{in situ}$ tunable complex hopping and pairing terms are created by parametric pumping at the mode-difference and mode-sum frequencies, respectively. We experimentally demonstrate important precursors of nontrivial topology and the non-Hermitian skin effect in the bosonic Kitaev chain, including chiral transport, quadrature wavefunction localization, and sensitivity to boundary conditions. Our experiment is an important first step towards exploring genuine many-body non-Hermitian quantum dynamics.

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