Contact: Morgan Kelly
Caption: Princeton University researchers found that the "landscape" for quantum control (above) -- a representation of quantum mechanics that allows the dynamics of atoms and molecules to be manipulated -- can be unexpectedly simple, which could help scientists realize the next generation of technology by harnessing atoms and molecules to create small but incredibly powerful devices. Scientists achieve quantum control by finding the ideal radiation field (top of the graphic) that leads to the desired response from the system. Like a mountain hiker, a scientist can take a difficult, twisting path that requires frequent stops to evaluate the next step (right path). Or, they can opt for a straighter trail that cuts directly to the summit (left path). The researchers provide in their paper an algorithm that scientists can use to identify the starting point of the straight path to their desired quantum field.
Credit: Image courtesy of Arun Nanduri
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