Landscape of unitary transformations in controlled quantum dynamics

Tak San Ho, Jason Dominy, Herschel Rabitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations


We consider the control problem of generating unitary transformations, which is especially relevant to current research in quantum information processing and computing, in contrast to the usual state-to-state or the more general observable expectation value control problems. A previous analysis of optimal control landscapes for unitary transformations from a kinematic perspective in the finite-dimensional unitary matrices is extended to a dynamical one in the infinite-dimensional function space of the time-dependent external field. The underlying dynamical landscape is defined as the Frobenius square norm of the difference between the control unitary matrix and the target matrix. A nonsingular adaptation matrix is introduced to provide additional freedom for exploring and manipulating key features, specifically the slope and curvature, of the control landscapes. The dynamical analysis reveals many essential geometric features of optimal control landscapes for unitary transformations, including bounds on the local landscape slope and curvature. Close examination of the curvatures at the critical points shows that the unitary transformation control landscapes are free of local traps and proper choices of the adaptation matrix may facilitate the search for optimal control fields producing desired unitary transformations, in particular, in the neighborhood of the global extrema.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number013422
JournalPhysical Review A - Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 5 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


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