Characterization of the critical submanifolds in quantum ensemble control landscapes

Rebing Wu, Herschel Rabitz, Michael Hsieh

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52 Scopus citations


The quantum control landscape is defined as the functional that maps the control variables to the expectation values of an observable over the ensemble of quantum systems. Analyzing the topology of such landscapes is important for understanding the origins of the increasing number of laboratory successes in the optimal control of quantum processes. This paper proposes a simple scheme to compute the characteristics of the critical topology of the quantum ensemble control landscapes showing that the set of disjoint critical submanifolds one-to-one corresponds to a finite number of contingency tables that solely depend on the degeneracy structure of the eigenvalues of the initial system density matrix and the observable whose expectation value is to be maximized. The landscape characteristics can be calculated as functions of the table entries, including the dimensions and the numbers of positive and negative eigenvalues of the Hessian quadratic form of each of the connected components of the critical submanifolds. Typical examples are given to illustrate the effectiveness of this method.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number015006
JournalJournal of Physics A: Mathematical and Theoretical
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 11 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Statistics and Probability
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Mathematical Physics
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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