# quantum control

### Quantum state transfer in disordered spin chains: How much engineering is reasonable? | Quant. Inf. Comm. (2015)

Analia Zwick, Gonzalo A. Álvarez, Joachim Stolze, and Omar Osenda

Quant. Inf. Comput. **15**, 582-600 (2015).

The transmission of quantum states through spin chains is an important element in the im- plementation of quantum information technologies. Speed and fidelity of transfer are the main objectives which have to be achieved by the devices even in the presence of imperfections which are unavoidable in any manufacturing process. To reach these goals, several kinds of spin chains have been suggested, which differ in the degree of fine-tuning, or engineering, of the system parameters. In this work we present a systematic study of two important classes of such chains. In one class only the spin couplings at the ends of the chain have to be adjusted to a value different from the bulk coupling constant, while in the other class every coupling has to have a specific value. We demonstrate that configurations from the two different classes may perform similarly when subjected to the same kind of disorder in spite of the large difference in the engineering effort necessary to prepare the system. We identify the system features responsible for these similarities and we perform a detailed study of the transfer fidelity as a function of chain length and disorder strength, yielding empirical scaling laws for the fidelity which are similar for all kinds of chain and all dis- order models. These results are helpful in identifying the optimal spin chain for a given quantum information transfer task. In particular, they help in judging whether it is worthwhile to engineer all couplings in the chain as compared to adjusting only the boundary couplings.

via [1306.1695] Quantum state transfer in disordered spin chains: How much engineering is reasonable?.

### Optimized dynamical control of state transfer through noisy spin chains | New Journal of Physics

**Optimized dynamical control of state transfer through noisy spin chains**

Analia Zwick, Gonzalo A Álvarez, Guy Bensky and Gershon Kurizki

Focus on Coherent Control of Complex Quantum Systems:

New J. Phys. **16**, 065021 (2014).

We propose a method of optimally controlling the tradeoff of speed and fidelity of state transfer through a noisy quantum channel spin-chain. This process is treated as qubit state-transfer through a fermionic bath. We show that dynamical modulation of the boundary-qubits levels can ensure state transfer with the best tradeoff of speed and fidelity. This is achievable by dynamically optimizing the transmission spectrum of the channel. The resulting optimal control is robust against both static and fluctuating noise in the channelʼs spin–spin couplings. It may also facilitate transfer in the presence of diagonal disorder on site energy noise in the channel.

### Diffusion-assisted selective dynamical recoupling: A new approach to measure background gradients in magnetic resonance | J. Chem. Phys. (2014)

**Diffusion-assisted selective dynamical recoupling: A new approach to measure background gradients in magnetic resonance**

Gonzalo A. Álvarez, Noam Shemesh and Lucio Frydman

J. Chem. Phys. **140**, 084205 (2014); http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.4865335

Dynamical decoupling, a generalization of the original NMR spin-echo sequence, is becoming increasingly relevant as a tool for reducing decoherence in quantum systems. Such sequences apply non-equidistant refocusing pulses for optimizing the coupling between systems, and environmental fluctuations characterized by a given noise spectrum. One such sequence, dubbed Selective Dynamical Recoupling SDR [P. E. S. Smith, G. Bensky, G. A. Álvarez, G. Kurizki, and L. Frydman, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. **109**, 5958 (2012)], allows one to coherently reintroduce diffusion decoherence effects driven by fluctuations arising from restricted molecular diffusion [G. A. Álvarez, N. Shemesh, and L. Frydman, Phys. Rev. Lett. **111**, 080404 (2013)]. The fully-refocused, constant-time, and constant-number-of-pulses nature of SDR also allows one to filter out “intrinsic” T1 and T2 weightings, as well as pulse errors acting as additional sources of decoherence. This article explores such features when the fluctuations are now driven by unrestricted molecular diffusion. In particular, we show that diffusion-driven SDR can be exploited to investigate the decoherence arising from the frequency fluctuations imposed by internal gradients. As a result, SDR presents a unique way of probing and characterizing these internal magnetic fields, given an a priori known free diffusion coefficient. This has important implications in studies of structured systems, including porous media and live tissues, where the internal gradients may serve as fingerprints for the systems composition or structure. The principles of this method, along with full analytical solutions for the unrestricted diffusion-driven modulation of the SDR signal, are presented. The potential of this approach is demonstrated with the generation of a novel source of MRI contrast, based on the background gradients active in an ex vivo mouse brain. Additional features and limitations of this new method are discussed.

© 2014 AIP Publishing LLC

### Quantum simulations of localization effects with dipolar interactions | Annalen der Physik – 2013

**Quantum simulations of localization effects with dipolar interactions**

Gonzalo A. Álvarez, Robin Kaiser, Dieter Suter

Abstract:

Quantum information processing often uses systems with dipolar interactions. Here a nuclear spin-based quantum simulator is used to study the spreading of information in such a dipolar-coupled system. While the information spreads with no apparent limits in the case of ideal dipolar couplings, additional perturbations limit the spreading, leading to localization. In previous work [Phys. Rev. Lett. 104, 230403 (2010)], it was found that the system size reaches a dynamic equilibrium that decreases with the square of the perturbation strength. This work examines the impact of a disordered Hamiltonian with dipolar interactions. It shows that the expansion of the cluster of spins freezes in the presence of large disorder, reminiscent of Anderson localization of non-interacting waves in a disordered potential.

Keywords: spin dynamics;dipolar interaction;decoherence;localization;disorder;NMR;long range interactions;quantum information processing

Annalen der Physik

Special Issue on “Quantum Simulations“, featuring review papers written by last year’s Nobel Prize winners describing their foundational work (Wineland and Haroche). Issue edited by: Rainer Blatt, Immanuel Bloch, Ignacio Cirac, Peter Zoller.

Ann. Phys. **525**, 833 (2013).

DOI: 10.1002/andp.201300096

© 2013 by WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim

### Measuring small compartment dimensions by probing diffusion dynamics via Non-uniform Oscillating-Gradient Spin-Echo NOGSE NMR | J. Magn. Reson. (2013)

**Measuring small compartment dimensions by probing diffusion dynamics via Non-uniform Oscillating-Gradient Spin-Echo NOGSE NMR**

Noam Shemesh, Gonzalo A. Álvarez, Lucio Frydman.

Department of Chemical Physics, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot 76100, Israel.

J. Magn. Reson. **237**, 49–62 (2013).

Highlights:

•NOGSE, a novel diffusion MR approach for measuring pore sizes, is presented and analyzed.

•NOGSE is based on a constant time and a constant number of oscillating gradients.

•Experiments on microstructural phantoms, spinal cords and brains, validate NOGSE.

Abstract:

Noninvasive measurements of microstructure in materials, cells, and in biological tissues, constitute a unique capability of gradient-assisted NMR. Diffusion–diffraction MR approaches pioneered by Callaghan demonstrated this ability; Oscillating-Gradient Spin-Echo OGSE methodologies tackle the demanding gradient amplitudes required for observing diffraction patterns by utilizing constant-frequency oscillating gradient pairs that probe the diffusion spectrum, Dω. Here we present a new class of diffusion MR experiments, termed Non-uniform Oscillating-Gradient Spin-Echo NOGSE, which dynamically probe multiple frequencies of the diffusion spectral density at once, thus affording direct microstructural information on the compartment’s dimension. The NOGSE methodology applies N constant-amplitude gradient oscillations; N − 1 of these oscillations are spaced by a characteristic time x, followed by a single gradient oscillation characterized by a time y, such that the diffusion dynamics is probed while keeping N − 1x + y ≡ TNOGSE constant. These constant-time, fixed-gradient-amplitude, multi-frequency attributes render NOGSE particularly useful for probing small compartment dimensions with relatively weak gradients – alleviating difficulties associated with probing Dω frequency-by-frequency or with varying relaxation weightings, as in other diffusion-monitoring experiments. Analytical descriptions of the NOGSE signal are given, and the sequence’s ability to extract small compartment sizes with a sensitivity towards length to the sixth power, is demonstrated using a microstructural phantom. Excellent agreement between theory and experiments was evidenced even upon applying weak gradient amplitudes. An MR imaging version of NOGSE was also implemented in ex vivo pig spinal cords and mouse brains, affording maps based on compartment sizes. The effects of size distributions on NOGSE are also briefly analyzed.

Keywords:

Restricted diffusion; Oscillating gradients; OGSE; Microstructure; Magnetic resonance imaging; CNS; Gradient echoes; Selective dynamical recoupling

Graphical abstract:

### Robustness of Spin-Chain State-Transfer Schemes – Springer

Robustness of Spin-Chain State-Transfer Schemes

Joachim Stolze, Gonzalo A. Álvarez, Omar Osenda, Analia Zwick

in Quantum State Transfer and Network Engineering, edited by G. M. Nikolopoulos and I. Jex (Springer Berlin Heidelberg, 2014), pp. 149–182.

Abstract

Spin chains are linear arrangements of qubits (spin-1/2 objects) with interactions between nearest or more distant neighbors. They have been considered for quantum information transfer between subunits of a quantum information processing device at short or intermediate distances. The most frequently studied task is the transfer of a single-qubit state. Several protocols have been developed to achieve this goal, broadly divisible into two classes, fully-engineered and boundary-controlled spin chains. We discuss state transfer induced by the natural dynamics of these two classes of systems, and the influence of deviations from the ideal system configuration, that is, manufacturing errors in the nearest-neighbor spin couplings. The fidelity of state transfer depends on the chain length and the disorder strength. We observe a power-law scaling of the fidelity deficit, i.e. the deviation from perfect transfer. Boundary-controlled chains can provide excellent fidelity under suitable circumstances and are potentially less difficult to manufacture and control than fully-engineered chains. We also review other existing theoretical work on the robustness of quantum state transfer as well as proposals for experimental implementation.

via Robustness of Spin-Chain State-Transfer Schemes – Springer.

### Coherent dynamical recoupling of diffusion-driven decoherence in magnetic resonance | Phys. Rev. Lett. 111, 080404 (2013)

**Coherent dynamical recoupling of diffusion-driven decoherence in magnetic resonance**

Gonzalo A. Álvarez, Noam Shemesh, and Lucio Frydman

Department of Chemical Physics, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, 76100, Israel

Received 13 May 2013; published 20 August 2013

During recent years, dynamical decoupling (DD) has gained relevance as a tool for manipulating and interrogating quantum systems. This is particularly relevant for spins involved in nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), where DD sequences can be used to prolong quantum coherences, or to selectively couple or decouple the effects imposed by random environmental fluctuations. In this Letter, we show that these concepts can be exploited to selectively recouple diffusion processes in restricted spaces. The ensuing method provides a novel tool to measure restriction lengths in confined systems such as capillaries, pores or cells. The principles of this method for selectively recoupling diffusion-driven decoherence, its standing within the context of diffusion NMR, extensions to the characterization of other kinds of quantum fluctuations, and corroborating experiments, are presented.

© 2013 American Physical Society

arXiv: [1305.2794] Coherent dynamical recoupling of diffusion-driven decoherence in magnetic resonance.

### Random – but not quite: exploiting quantum decoherence as a tool for characterizing unknown systems | Seminar

**SEMINAR at IV Quantum Information Workshop – Paraty 2013**

Wednesday, August 14th 2013

See comments of the talk at the Paraty 2013’s Blog: Decoupling system and environment.

**SEMINAR at CBPF, Rio de Janeiro – Brazil, August 20th, 2013**

**SEMINAR at FaMAF, Córdoba – Argentina, August 27th, 2013**

**Abstract**

The ability to understand and manipulate the dynamics of quantum systems that interact with external degrees of freedom is a major challenge for fundamental quantum physics and its diverse applications, e.g., quantum information processing (QIP) or precision measurements. Progress in dynamical decoupling has lead to new ways to “protect” quantum bits from external degrees of freedom. Sometimes, however, a little bit of “recoupling” –i.e., exposure to the unknowns of the surrounding medium– can help. In this seminar, I will present a series of experimental methods implemented in NMR where by varying the “protection” given to the quantum states of ½-spins (qubits) can lead to new tools for characterizing unknown systems. In particular, I will show how Dynamical Decoupling noise spectroscopy can probe the spectrum of the environmental noise in order to find optimal methods for protecting the qubits [1]. In a new twist, I will present a method termed Selective Dynamical Recoupling (SDR), where suitable designed pulse sequence applied to the spins can selectively address specific information from the probed systems. SDR can be used to measure coupling strengths to the environment via oscillatory modulations that can serve for example to probe chemical identities derived from chemical shifts [2]. Alternatively, SDR can be designed to selectively measure the correlation time of the environmental noise where its value can be useful to probe diffusion processes in restricted spaces to extract the sizes of pores or cells in a non-invasive manner [3]. Applications of this new and simple approach can be found in materials sciences and biology and in particular it can be useful for investigating the nature of tissue compartmentalization *in vivo*, in manners which eventually could be useful in human and clinical settings.

[1] G.A. Alvarez, and D. Suter. Phys. Rev. Lett. **107**, 230501 (2011).

[2] P.E.S. Smith, G. Bensky, G.A. Alvarez, G. Kurizki, and L. Frydman. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U. S. A. **109**, 5958 (2012).

[3] G.A. Alvarez, N. Shemesh, and L. Frydman. Phys. Rev. Lett. **111**, 080404 (2013).

### Random – but not quite: exploiting quantum decoherence as a tool for characterizing unknown systems | Paraty 2013

**SEMINAR at IV Quantum Information Workshop – Paraty 2013**

Wednesday, August 14th 2013

See comments of the talk at the Paraty 2013’s Blog: Decoupling system and environment.

**Abstract**

The ability to understand and manipulate the dynamics of quantum systems that interact with external degrees of freedom is a major challenge for fundamental quantum physics and its diverse applications, e.g., quantum information processing (QIP) or precision measurements. Progress in dynamical decoupling has lead to new ways to “protect” quantum bits from external degrees of freedom. Sometimes, however, a little bit of “recoupling” –i.e., exposure to the unknowns of the surrounding medium– can help. In this seminar, I will present a series of experimental methods implemented in NMR where by varying the “protection” given to the quantum states of ½-spins (qubits) can lead to new tools for characterizing unknown systems. In particular, I will show how Dynamical Decoupling noise spectroscopy can probe the spectrum of the environmental noise in order to find optimal methods for protecting the qubits [1]. In a new twist, I will present a method termed Selective Dynamical Recoupling (SDR), where suitable designed pulse sequence applied to the spins can selectively address specific information from the probed systems. SDR can be used to measure coupling strengths to the environment via oscillatory modulations that can serve for example to probe chemical identities derived from chemical shifts [2]. Alternatively, SDR can be designed to selectively measure the correlation time of the environmental noise where its value can be useful to probe diffusion processes in restricted spaces to extract the sizes of pores or cells in a non-invasive manner [3]. Applications of this new and simple approach can be found in materials sciences and biology and in particular it can be useful for investigating the nature of tissue compartmentalization *in vivo*, in manners which eventually could be useful in human and clinical settings.

[1] G.A. Alvarez, and D. Suter. Phys. Rev. Lett. **107**, 230501 (2011).

[2] P.E.S. Smith, G. Bensky, G.A. Alvarez, G. Kurizki, and L. Frydman. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U. S. A. **109**, 5958 (2012).

[3] G.A. Alvarez, N. Shemesh, and L. Frydman. Phys. Rev. Lett. (2013) – in press. arXiv:1305.2794.

### Robustness of dynamical decoupling sequences | Phys. Rev. A 87, 042309 (2013)

Robustness of dynamical decoupling sequences

Mustafa Ahmed Ali Ahmed [1,2], Gonzalo A. Álvarez [1,3], and Dieter Suter [1]

1Fakultät Physik, Technische Universität Dortmund, Dortmund, Germany

2Department of Physics, International University of Africa, Khartoum, Sudan

3Department of Chemical Physics, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel

Active protection of quantum states is an essential prerequisite for the implementation of quantum computing. Dynamical decoupling (DD) is a promising approach that applies sequences of control pulses to the system in order to reduce the adverse effect of system-environment interactions. Since every hardware device has finite precision, the errors of the DD control pulses can themselves destroy the stored information rather than protect it. We experimentally compare the performance of different DD sequences in the presence of an environment that was chosen such that all relevant DD sequences can equally suppress its effect on the system. Under these conditions, the remaining decay of the qubits under DD allows us to compare very precisely the robustness of the different DD sequences with respect to imperfections of the control pulses.

©2013 American Physical Society

via Phys. Rev. A 87, 042309 (2013): Robustness of dynamical decoupling sequences.