Mike Biercuk, 7 Oct 2019

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Mike Biercuk, a Professor of Quantum Physics and Quantum Technology at the University of Sydney, will visit Caltech on 7 Oct 2019 (Mon). If you would like to meet with him, please sign up for a time below.


  • 10 am: arrive, meet with Richard
  • 11 am: Seminar, 121 Annenberg
  • 12 pm: Lunch with faculty (Richard, John Doyle, TBD)
  • 1:30 pm: Oskar Painter (Watson 266)
  • 2:15 pm: John Doyle (Annenberg 210)
  • 3:00 pm: Mandy Huo
  • 3:45 pm: Evert van Nieuwenburg. 222 ANB (John's studio)
  • 4:30 pm: Reza Ahmadi
  • 5:15 pm: Wrap up with Richard


Bringing Control Engineering to the Quantum Domain

Michael J. Biercuk
Professor of Quantum Physics and Quantum Technology
University of Sydney

Quantum technology, which harnesses quantum physics as a resource, is likely to be as transformational in the 21st century as harnessing electricity was in the 19th. Like past technological revolutions - from the advent of flight to autonomous vehicles - control engineering will play a central role in the development of this technology. In this talk we provide an overview of the role of control in the quantum domain. We focus on the application of quantum computing and identify the task of stabilizing hardware against decoherence (loss of "quantumness") as a high-impact area of interest for quantum control engineering. We frame the problem of stabilizing qubits for quantum computing as bilinear control, and introduce several complementary strategies for hardware stabilization. This presentation will focus primarily on open-loop control strategies and will introduce the mechanisms by which these strategies improve hardware performance with relevance to larger architectures. We will include experimental demonstrations using trapped atomic ions to validate these concepts as well as novel quantum-control-theoretic constructs called filter functions which describe the decoherence susceptibility of an arbitrary Unitary control operation on one or more qubits. This experimental work will be contextualized in a broader class of control strategies and how they integrate into the emerging software stack for quantum computing.