Relation of quantum control mechanism to landscape structure

Arun Nanduri, Ashley Donovan, Tak San Ho, Herschel Rabitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


The control of quantum dynamics is generally accomplished by seeking a tailored electromagnetic field to meet a posed objective. A particular shaped field can be thought of as specifying a point on a quantum control landscape, which is the objective as a functional of the controls. Optimizing the pulse shape corresponds to climbing the landscape, and previous work showed that the paths taken up the landscapes, guided by a gradient algorithm, are surprisingly straight when projected into the space of control fields. The direct nature of these control trajectories can be quantified by the metric R≥1, defined as the ratio of the length of the control trajectory to the Euclidean distance between its end points. The prior observation of often finding low values of R implies that the landscapes are structurally simple. In this work, we investigate whether there is a relationship between the intricacy of the control mechanism and the complexity of the trajectory taken through the control space reflected in the value of R. We use the Hamiltonian encoding procedure to identify the mechanism, and we examine control of the state-to-state transition probability. No significant correlation is found between the landscape structure, reflected in the value of R, and the control mechanism. This result has algorithmic implications, opening up the prospect of seeking fields producing particular mechanisms at little penalty in the search effort due to encountering complex landscape structure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number013406
JournalPhysical Review A - Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 9 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


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