An application of filtering theory to parameter identification in quantum mechanics

J. G.B. Beurmee, H. Rabitz

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A method for inverting observations on quantum mechanical systems to obtain estimates of unknown parameters residing in the Hamiltonian is presented. The quantal system is represented in matrix form with respect to a chosen basis, and it is assumed that the associated expansion coefficients are truncated to a finite dimension. The uncontrollable laboratory noise will be modeled by means of an inhomogeneous white noise process so that the experimental observations are represented as stochastic variables satisfying a stochastic differential equation. It will be assumed that measurements obtained from an experiment are now equivalent to a realization of these stochastic variables. It is known from filtering theory that the minimum variance estimate of the unknown parameters in the quantal model is now given by the expectation of the unknowns conditional on this realization. This estimator can be calculated analytically from the associated a posteriori probability density if the original quantal system does not contain any random elements. This probability density for the unknown matrix elements is calculated, and it is demonstrated that for a full Hamiltonian matrix the asymptotic variance of the parameter estimator decreases as a third power in time and a fourth power in the initial conditions. Some differences with the minimum least-square method are mentioned, and a few issues of numerical implementation are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1795-1800
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Mathematical Physics
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1987

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Mathematical Physics


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