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John W. Clark

Washington University in St. Louis
Control of Quantum Systems: Parking Schroedinger's Car
The past, the present, and the future of human interactions with quantum phenomena are personified in turn by ""quantum lawyers"" such as Bohr, Heisenberg, Schroedinger, et al., by ""quantum actuaries"" doing ab initio calculations on quantum systems using classical computers, and -- as we begin a new millennium -- by a true breed of ""quantum mechanics."" Since the discovery of quantum theory, human control of the behavior of quantum systems has been a shining goal, with notable successes in particle acceleration and detection, magnetic resonance, electron microscopy, solid-state electronics, and laser optics. However, it is only in the last two decades that scientists have recognized the need for a comprehensive approach to quantum control that absorbs and adapts general concepts and powerful methods developed within systems engineering. Theoretical and experimental progress in quantum control will be described, with emphasis on applications to control of chemical reactions using designer laser pulses and on profound connections with quantum computation. A synergism between quantum control and quantum computation is creating a host of exciting new opportunities for both activities.
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