Gradient algorithm applied to laboratory quantum control

Jonathan Roslund, Herschel Rabitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


The exploration of a quantum control landscape, which is the physical observable as a function of the control variables, is fundamental for understanding the ability to perform observable optimization in the laboratory. For high control variable dimensions, trajectory-based methods provide a means for performing such systematic explorations by exploiting the measured gradient of the observable with respect to the control variables. This paper presents a practical, robust, easily implemented statistical method for obtaining the gradient on a general quantum control landscape in the presence of noise. In order to demonstrate the method’s utility, the experimentally measured gradient is utilized as input in steepest-ascent trajectories on the landscapes of three model quantum control problems: spectrally filtered and integrated second harmonic generation as well as excitation of atomic rubidium. The gradient algorithm achieves efficiency gains of up to approximately three times that of the standard genetic algorithm and, as such, is a promising tool for meeting quantum control optimization goals as well as landscape analyses. The landscape trajectories directed by the gradient should aid in the continued investigation and understanding of controlled quantum phenomena.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number053417
JournalPhysical Review A - Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


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