Control of Many-body Quantum Systems

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Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy

Original languageEnglish
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Award date2019
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Abstract

The scaling of effort to achieve control objectives with system size is an important consideration in the development of many quantum devices, especially in those intended for quantum information processing. This thesis investigates the scaling with system size of effort required to control manybody quantum systems, and asks whether this is sufficiently favourable to enable supremacy in quantum computation. This is tested using quantum control theory and numerical control optimisation, which are well established tools for investigating the dynamics of driven quantum systems, in a variety of theoretical models related to state-of-the-art quantum devices. Gates acting on a chain of coupled oscillators are found to achievable in times that scale approximately linear with chain length, where the control is over only a single oscillator. The scalability of a scheme for implementing quantum gates in a many-body quantum simulator is shown to be favourable enough to allow for them to be configured to perform quantum computations. A state measurement protocol
is proposed as part of the scheme. The scalability is validated through numerical simulation of simulator models composed of up to 9 qubits. The reachable set of operations for systems with quadratic Hamiltonians and infinite-dimensional Hilbert spaces is investigated. The passive operations in quantum optics are proven to be unreachable for single-mode systems with ‘unstable’ Hamiltonians. Further characterisation of the reachable set is made through numerical simulation of control optimisation. Some progress is made in extending the reachability result to n-modes. A non-Markovian noise model is used in simulating control optimisation of a dynamical decoupling scheme, which would be impossible to simulate with Markovian dynamics. The popular QuTiP
Python library has been extended to allow simulation of control optimisation with a range of dynamical models. A description of these software modules and their method of use is given. Many of the software tools developed for the study are made available through open-source repositories. Some outlook is given for the use of in-situ open-loop control in optimising controls in quantum
system experiments.