Table of Contents
ISRN Optics
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 783865, 51 pages
Review Article

Universal Dynamical Control of Open Quantum Systems

Weizmann Institute of Science, 76100 Rehovot, Israel

Received 25 March 2013; Accepted 24 April 2013

Academic Editors: M. D. Hoogerland, D. Kouznetsov, A. Miroshnichenko, and S. R. Restaino

Copyright © 2013 Gershon Kurizki. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Due to increasing demands on speed and security of data processing, along with requirements on measurement precision in fundamental research, quantum phenomena are expected to play an increasing role in future technologies. Special attention must hence be paid to omnipresent decoherence effects, which hamper quantumness. Their consequence is always a deviation of the quantum state evolution (error) with respect to the expected unitary evolution if these effects are absent. In operational tasks such as the preparation, transformation, transmission, and detection of quantum states, these effects are detrimental and must be suppressed by strategies known as dynamical decoupling, or the more general dynamical control by modulation developed by us. The underlying dynamics must be Zeno-like, yielding suppressed coupling to the bath. There are, however, tasks which cannot be implemented by unitary evolution, in particular those involving a change of the system’s state entropy. Such tasks necessitate efficient coupling to a bath for their implementation. Examples include the use of measurements to cool (purify) a system, to equilibrate it, or to harvest and convert energy from the environment. If the underlying dynamics is anti-Zeno like, enhancement of this coupling to the bath will occur and thereby facilitate the task, as discovered by us. A general task may also require state and energy transfer, or entanglement of noninteracting parties via shared modes of the bath which call for maximizing the shared (two-partite) couplings with the bath, but suppressing the single-partite couplings. For such tasks, a more subtle interplay of Zeno and anti-Zeno dynamics may be optimal. We have therefore constructed a general framework for optimizing the way a system interacts with its environment to achieve a desired task. This optimization consists in adjusting a given “score” that quantifies the success of the task, such as the targeted fidelity, purity, entropy, entanglement, or energy by dynamical modification of the system-bath coupling spectrum on demand.