Pathway dynamics in the optimal quantum control of rubidium: Cooperation and competition

Fang Gao, Roberto Rey-De-Castro, Ashley M. Donovan, Jian Xu, Yaoxiong Wang, Herschel Rabitz, Feng Shuang

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14 Scopus citations


The dynamics that take place in the optimal quantum control of atomic rubidium upon population transfer from state 5S1/2 to state 5D3/2 are investigated with Hamiltonian-encoding-observable-decoding (HE-OD). For modest laser powers two second-order pathways, 5S1/2→5P3/2→5D3/2 (pathway 1) and 5S1/2→5P1/2→5D3/2 (pathway 2), govern the population transfer process. Pathway 1 has larger transition dipoles than pathway 2. However, state 5P3/2 along pathway 1 may also be excited to an undesired state 5D5/2, which can result in population "leakage." Thus, the two pathways may either cooperate or compete with each other in various dynamical regimes. An important feature in the case of cooperation is that the ratio between the amplitudes of pathways 1 and 2 oscillates over time with a frequency equal to the detuning between transitions 5S1/2→5P3/2 and 5P3/2→5D3/2. We also study the regime in which pathway 2 dominates the dynamics when the larger transition dipoles of pathway 1 can no longer compensate for its population leakage. The overall analysis illustrates the utility of HE-OD as a tool to reveal the quantum control mechanism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number023416
JournalPhysical Review A - Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 13 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


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