Title: Quantum impulse control
Speaker: Christopher Jarzynski
University of Maryland | Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry and Department of Physics
Abstract: The quantum adiabatic theorem governs the evolution of a wavefunction under a slowly time-varying Hamiltonian. I will consider the opposite limit of a Hamiltonian that is varied impulsively: a strong perturbation U(x,t) is applied over a time interval of infinitesimal duration ε approaches 0. When the strength of the perturbation scales like 1/ε^2, there emerges an interesting dynamical behavior characterized by an abrupt displacement of the wave function in coordinate space. I will solve for the evolution of the wavefunction in this situation. Remarkably, the solution involves a purely classical construction, yet describes the quantum evolution exactly, rather than approximately. I will use these results to show how appropriately tailored impulses can be used to control the behavior of a quantum wavefunction.