Singularities of quantum control landscapes

Re Bing Wu, Ruixing Long, Jason Dominy, Tak San Ho, Herschel Rabitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


Quantum control landscape theory was formulated to assess the ease of finding optimal control fields in simulations and in the laboratory. The landscape is the observable as a function of the controls, and a primary goal of the theory is the analysis of landscape features. In what is referred to as the kinematic picture of the landscape, prior work showed that the landscapes are generally free of traps that could halt the search for an optimal control at a suboptimal observable value. The present paper considers the dynamical picture of the landscape, seeking the existence of singular controls, especially of a nonkinematic nature along with an assessment of whether they correspond to traps. We analyze the necessary and sufficient conditions for singular controls to be kinematic or nonkinematic critical solutions and the likelihood of their being encountered while maximizing an observable. An algorithm is introduced to seek singular controls on the landscape in simulations along with an associated Hessian landscape analysis. Simulations are performed for a large number of model finite-level quantum systems, showing that all the numerically identified kinematic and nonkinematic singular critical controls are not traps, in support of the prior empirical observations on the ease of finding high-quality optimal control fields.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number013405
JournalPhysical Review A - Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 9 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


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