Time-optimal synthesis of SU(2) transformations for a spin-1/2 system

A. D. Boozer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


We consider a quantum control problem involving a spin-1/2 particle in a magnetic field. The magnitude of the field is held constant, and the direction of the field, which is constrained to lie in the x-y plane, serves as a control parameter that can be varied to govern the evolution of the system. We analytically solve for the time dependence of the control parameter that will synthesize a given target SU(2) transformation in the least possible amount of time, and we show that the time-optimal solutions have a simple geometric interpretation in terms of the fiber bundle structure of SU(2). We also generalize our time-optimal solutions to a control problem that includes a constant bias field along the axis and to the case of inhomogeneous control, in which a single control parameter governs the evolution of an ensemble of spin-1/2 systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number012317
JournalPhysical Review A - Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 19 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


Dive into the research topics of 'Time-optimal synthesis of SU(2) transformations for a spin-1/2 system'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this