A self-guided algorithm for learning control of quantum-mechanical systems

Minh Q. Phan, Herschel Rabitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


This paper presents a general self-guided algorithm for direct laboratory learning of controls to manipulate quantum-mechanical systems. The primary focus is on an algorithm based on the learning of a linear laboratory input-output map from a sequence of controls, and their observed impact on the quantum-mechanical system. This map is then employed in an iterative fashion, to sequentially home in on the desired objective. The objective may be a target state at a final time, or a continuously weighted observational trajectory. The self-guided aspects of the algorithm are based on implementing a cost functional that only contains laboratory-accessible information. Through choice of the weights in this functional, the algorithm can automatically stay within the bounds of each local linear map and indicate when a new map is necessary for additional iterative improvement. Finally, these concepts can be generalized to include the possibility of employing nonlinear maps, as well as just the laboratory control instrument settings, rather than observation of the control itself. An illustrative simulation of the concepts is presented for the control of a four-level quantum system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)34-41
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Chemical Physics
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1999

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


Dive into the research topics of 'A self-guided algorithm for learning control of quantum-mechanical systems'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this