Limits of optimal control yields achievable with quantum controllers

Re Bing Wu, Constantin Brif, Matthew R. James, Herschel Rabitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


In quantum optimal control theory, kinematic bounds are the minimum and maximum values of the control objective achievable for any physically realizable system dynamics. For a given initial state of the system, these bounds depend on the nature and state of the controller. We consider a general situation where the controlled quantum system is coupled to both an external classical field (referred to as a classical controller) and an auxiliary quantum system (referred to as a quantum controller). In this general situation, the kinematic bound is between the classical kinematic bound (CKB), corresponding to the case where only the classical controller is available, and the quantum kinematic bound (QKB), corresponding to the ultimate physical limit of the objective's value. Specifically, when the control objective is the expectation value of a quantum observable (a Hermitian operator on the system's Hilbert space), the QKBs are the minimum and maximum eigenvalues of this operator. We present, both qualitatively and quantitatively, the necessary and sufficient conditions for surpassing the CKB and reaching the QKB, through the use of a quantum controller. The general conditions are illustrated by examples in which the system and controller are initially in thermal states. The obtained results provide a basis for the design of quantum controllers capable of maximizing the control yield and reaching the ultimate physical limit.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number042327
JournalPhysical Review A - Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 23 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


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