Quantum Control of Light and Matter

Coordinators: Mikhail Ivanov, Navin Khaneja, David J. Tannor

Scientific Advisors: Gustav Gerber, Steffen J. Glaser, Hideo Mabuchi

Quantum control refers the application of controlled coherent interactions to direct the dynamics of quantum systems.  It is one of the most exciting frontiers in atomic, molecular and optical physics, spanning physics, chemistry and applied mathematics, with excellent interactions between theory and experiment. Within the context of chemical dynamics, the objective is to design specially tailored laser pulses to selectively break bonds in large molecules.  However, the application to many other areas of physics is growing rapidly, including controlling photoionization, photoemission, high harmonic generation, fluorescence quantum yield, laser pulse properties, directional current in semiconductors, controlled deposition and nanolithography, nuclear magnetic resonance, manipulation of ions in traps and neutral atoms in optical lattices, laser cooling, and quantum information, all using optimally shaped pulses.

There are at least four or five subcommunities within quantum control that work on different physical systems and use different languages: the chemical reaction dynamics community, the NMR community, the quantum optics community, the quantum information community, and the mathematically oriented quantum control theorists. One of the main goals of having a KITP workshop is to allow sufficient time for the subcommunities to be together to learn each other’s language and to allow for transfer of methods from one subcommunity to another.  In addition, there will be key representatives from the attosecond community to exchange ideas about how the methods of quantum control can be useful for the problems of interest to that community. To avoid fragmentation, the workshop will concentrate the different communities within subportions of the program, to allow them to have internal coherence and a critical mass during their portion of the program. In the middle of the workshop will be a conference with the title: Concepts and Methods in Quantum Control: Theory and Experiment, to be held May 18-22, 2009.  The working plan is described by the following schedule:

KITP is eager to have program participants stay for as long as possible and strongly encourages theorists to come for a minimum of three weeks.  Applicants from any of these subcommunities will be considered for participation throughout the program for visits of up to 13 weeks.  Some financial assistance will be available to those invited.

If you have questions about the program, please send an email to the organizers at tannor_at_kitp.ucsb.edu.