In this work we derive a lower bound for the minimum time required to implement a target unitary transformation through a classical time-dependent field in a closed quantum system. The bound depends on the target gate, the strength of the internal Hamiltonian and the highest permitted control field amplitude. These findings reveal some properties of the reachable set of operations, explicitly analyzed for a single qubit. Moreover, for fully controllable systems, we identify a lower bound for the time at which all unitary gates become reachable. We use numerical gate optimization in order to study the tightness of the obtained bounds. It is shown that in the single qubit case our analytical findings describe the relationship between the highest control field amplitude and the minimum evolution time remarkably well. Finally, we discuss both challenges and ways forward for obtaining tighter bounds for higher dimensional systems, offering a discussion about the mathematical form and the physical meaning of the bound.
We investigate the possibility to suppress interactions between a finite dimensional system and an infinite dimensional environment through a fast sequence of unitary kicks on the finite dimensional system. This method, called dynamical decoupling, is known to work for bounded interactions, but physical environments such as bosonic heat baths are usually modelled with unbounded interactions, whence here we initiate a systematic study of dynamical decoupling for unbounded operators. We develop a sufficient decoupling criterion for arbitrary Hamiltonians and a necessary decoupling criterion for semibounded Hamiltonians. We give examples for unbounded Hamiltonians where decoupling works and the limiting evolution as well as the convergence speed can be explicitly computed. We show that decoupling does not always work for unbounded interactions and provide both physically and mathematically motivated examples.
In a recent work [D. K. Burgarth et al., Nat. Commun. 5, 5173 (2014)] it was shown that a series of frequent measurements can project the dynamics of a quantum system onto a subspace in which the dynamics can be more complex. In this subspace even full controllability can be achieved, although the controllability over the system before the projection is very poor since the control Hamiltonians commute with each other. We can also think of the opposite: any Hamiltonians of a quantum system, which are in general noncommutative with each other, can be made commutative by embedding them in an extended Hilbert space, and thus the dynamics in the extended space becomes trivial and simple. This idea of making noncommutative Hamiltonians commutative is called "Hamiltonian purification." The original noncommutative Hamiltonians are recovered by projecting the system back onto the original Hilbert space through frequent measurements. Here we generalize this idea to open-system dynamics by presenting a simple construction to make Lindbladians, as well as Hamiltonians, commutative on a larger space with an auxiliary system. We show that the original dynamics can be recovered through frequently measuring the auxiliary system in a non-selective way. Moreover, we provide a universal pair of Lindbladians which describes an "accessible" open quantum system for generic system sizes. This allows us to conclude that through a series of frequent non-selective measurements a nonaccessible open quantum system generally becomes accessible. This sheds further light on the role of measurement backaction on the control of quantum systems.
Although single and two-qubit gates are sufficient for universal quantum computation, single-shot three-qubit gates greatly simplify quantum error correction schemes and algorithms. We design fast, high-fidelity three-qubit entangling gates based on microwave pulses for transmon qubits coupled through a superconducting resonator. We show that when interqubit frequency differences are comparable to single-qubit anharmonicities, errors occur primarily through a single unwanted transition. This feature enables the design of fast three-qubit gates based on simple analytical pulse shapes that are engineered to minimize such errors. We show that a three-qubit ccz gate can be performed in 260 ns with fidelities exceeding $99.38\%$, or $99.99\%$ with numerical optimization.
For finite-dimensional quantum systems, such as qubits, a well established strategy to protect such systems from decoherence is dynamical decoupling. However many promising quantum devices, such as oscillators, are infinite dimensional, for which the question if dynamical decoupling could be applied remained open. Here we first show that not every infinite-dimensional system can be protected from decoherence through dynamical decoupling. Then we develop dynamical decoupling for continuous variable systems which are described by quadratic Hamiltonians. We identify a condition and a set of operations that allow us to map a set of interacting harmonic oscillators onto a set of non-interacting oscillators rotating with an averaged frequency, a procedure we call homogenization. Furthermore we show that every quadratic system-environment interaction can be suppressed with two simple operations acting only on the system. Using a random dynamical decoupling or homogenization scheme, we develop bounds that characterize how fast we have to work in order to achieve the desired uncoupled dynamics. This allows us to identify how well homogenization can be achieved and decoherence can be suppressed in continuous variable systems.
On the basis of the quantum Zeno effect it has been recently shown [D. K. Burgarth et al., Nat. Commun. 5, 5173 (2014)] that a strong amplitude damping process applied locally on a part of a quantum system can have a beneficial effect on the dynamics of the remaining part of the system. Quantum operations that cannot be implemented without the dissipation become achievable by the action of the strong dissipative process. Here we generalize this idea by identifying decoherence-free subspaces (DFS's) as the subspaces in which the dynamics becomes more complex. Applying methods from quantum control theory we characterize the set of reachable operations within the DFS's. We provide three examples which become fully controllable within the DFS's while the control over the original Hilbert space in the absence of dissipation is trivial. In particular, we show that the (classical) Ising Hamiltonian is turned into a Heisenberg Hamiltonian by strong collective decoherence, which provides universal quantum computation within the DFS's. Moreover we perform numerical gate optimization to study how the process fidelity scales with the noise strength. As a byproduct a subsystem fidelity which can be applied in other optimization problems for open quantum systems is developed.
A longstanding challenge in the foundations of quantum mechanics is the veri?cation of alternative collapse theories despite their mathematical similarity to decoherence. To this end, we suggest a novel method based on dynamical decoupling. Experimental observation of nonzero saturation of the decoupling error in the limit of fast decoupling operations can provide evidence for alternative quantum theories. As part of the analysis we prove that unbounded Hamiltonians can always be decoupled, and provide novel dilations of Lindbladians.
We discuss a few mathematical aspects of random dynamical decoupling, a key tool procedure in quantum information theory. In particular, we place it in the context of discrete stochastic processes, limit theorems and CPT semigroups on matrix algebras. We obtain precise analytical expressions for expectation and variance of the density matrix and fidelity over time in the continuum-time limit depending on the system Lindbladian, which then lead to rough short-time estimates depending only on certain coupling strengths. We prove that dynamical decoupling does not work in the case of intrinsic (i.e., not environment-induced) decoherence, and together with the above-mentioned estimates this yields a novel method of partially identifying intrinsic decoherence.
We study the controllability of a central spin guided by a classical field and interacting with a spin bath, showing that the central spin is fully controllable independently of the number of bath spins. Additionally we find that for unequal system-bath couplings even the bath becomes controllable by acting on the central spin alone. We then analyze numerically how the time to implement gates on the central spin scales with the number of bath spins and conjecture that for equal system-bath couplings it reaches a saturation value. We provide evidence that sometimes noise can be effectively suppressed through control.
A method for generating entangled cat states of two modes of a microwave cavity field is proposed. Entanglement results from the interaction of the field with a beam of atoms crossing the microwave resonator, giving rise to non-unitary dynamics of which the target entangled state is a fixed point. We analyse the robustness of the generated two-mode photonic "cat state" against dephasing and losses by means of numerical simulation. This proposal is an instance of quantum reservoir engineering of photonic systems.