The 13th IASTED International Conference on
Intelligent Systems and Control
ISC 2011

July 11 – 13, 2011
Cambridge, United Kingdom


Introduction to Control of Quantum Systems and Processes

Dr. Sophie Schirmer
University of Cambridge, United Kingdom


Quantum phenomena play an increasingly important role not just in the traditional areas of atomic and molecular physics and chemistry, but also in new areas such as nanoelectronics and photonics. Many of these applications call for control of quantum dynamics. From a control point of view this presents several challenges. The first challenge is in how to model quantum dynamics. Here the Schrodinger and quantum Liouville equation will be introduced and it will be explained how problems such as Hamiltonian engineering by coherent control require nonlinear control system models, and how basic tasks such as quantum state engineering or process engineering can be formulated as optimal control problems. Another challenge for quantum control is feedback. Feedback of classical information requires measurements which induce a backaction and thus disturb the system and cause decoherence. Coherent feedback, which is based on feedback of quantum states, can in principle circumvent this problem but requires a quantum controller and is limited by other constraints such as uncertainty relations. Different paradigms for quantum control design will be discussed and illustrated using case studies such as stabilization of quantum states and quantum process control.

Biography of the Plenary Speaker

Plenary Speaker Portrait

Sophie Schirmer is an Advanced Research Fellow of the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) based at the University of Cambridge, and has held positions as a Marie Curie Professorial Fellow, Research Fellow of the Cambridge-MIT institute and Coordinator for the Quantum Technologies Group. Her research interests include nanoscience at the quantum edge and quantum engineering, especially modelling, control and characterization of a quantum systems and devices.