past and present
One of the cornerstones of the implementation of quantum technology is the creation and manipulation of the shape of external fields that can optimize the performance of quantum devices. Known as quantum optimal control, this set of methods covers an area that has rapidly developed and expanded in recent years.
A new review paper published in EPJ Quantum Technology and Christian P. Koch, Dahlm Center for Complex Quantum Systems and Fachberich Physique, Frei Universitt Berlin, with collaborators from across Europe, understanding of the controllability of quantum systems as well as recent advances in the application of quantum control to quantum technologies assesses. , As such, it lays out a possible roadmap for the technology of the future.
While quantum optimal control is based on traditional control theory, involving the interface of applied mathematics, engineering, and physics, it must also factor into the strangeness and counter-intuitive nature of quantum physics.
This includes superposition, the concept that a quantum system can exist in multiple states at a time, one of the keys to the advanced computing power of machines that rely on quantum bits – or qubits.
Ultimately the main goal of quantum optimal control is to make emerging quantum technologies operate at their optimum performance and reach physical limits.
“Each device architecture comes with specific limitations, but these limitations are often not achieved with more traditional ways of operating the device,” Koch says. “The use of pulse shaping could push devices to the limit in terms of accuracy or speed of operation that is fundamentally possible.”
The authors of this review consider factors in the discipline in which quantum systems can be established, controlled, and observed without collapsing this superposition, something that severely impairs the stability of quantum computers.
The review also suggests that just as traditional engineers have a control theoretic framework to rely on, the training of future “quantum engineers” may require a similar framework that has yet to be developed.
A quantum system that integrates theory and experiment is one of the current research goals in this field, which the authors point out will also form the basis for the development of optimal control strategies.
As well as assessing recent progress toward this goal, the team outlined some of the obstacles that may lie ahead for the field. Barriers will need to be overcome if quantum technology is to reveal the future.
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