Experimental observation of saddle points over the quantum control landscape of a two-spin system

Qiuyang Sun, István Pelczer, Gregory Riviello, Re Bing Wu, Herschel Rabitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


The growing successes in performing quantum control experiments motivated the development of control landscape analysis as a basis to explain these findings. When a quantum system is controlled by an electromagnetic field, the observable as a functional of the control field forms a landscape. Theoretical analyses have predicted the existence of critical points over the landscapes, including saddle points with indefinite Hessians. This paper presents a systematic experimental study of quantum control landscape saddle points. Nuclear magnetic resonance control experiments are performed on a coupled two-spin system in a C13-labeled chloroform (13CHCl3) sample. We address the saddles with a combined theoretical and experimental approach, measure the Hessian at each identified saddle point, and study how their presence can influence the search effort utilizing a gradient algorithm to seek an optimal control outcome. The results have significance beyond spin systems, as landscape saddles are expected to be present for the control of broad classes of quantum systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number043412
JournalPhysical Review A - Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 17 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


Dive into the research topics of 'Experimental observation of saddle points over the quantum control landscape of a two-spin system'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this