Colloquium: Coherently controlled adiabatic passage
PublisherAmerican Institute of Physics
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The merging of coherent control (CC) and adiabatic passage (AP) and the type of problems that can be solved using the resulting coherently controlled adiabatic passage (CCAP) method are discussed. The discussion starts with the essence of CC as the guiding of a quantum system to arrive at a given final state via a number of different quantum pathways. The guiding is done by "tailor-made" external laser fields. Selectivity in a host of physical and chemical processes is shown to be achieved by controlling the interference between such quantum pathways. The AP process is then discussed, in which a system is navigated adiabatically along a single quantum pathway, resulting in a complete population transfer between two energy eigenstates. The merging of the two techniques (CCAP) is shown to achieve both selectivity and completeness. Application of CCAP to the solution of the nondegenerate quantum control problem is first discussed and shown that it is possible to completely transfer population from an initial wave packet of arbitrary shape, composed of a set of nondegenerate energy eigenstates, to a final arbitrary wave packet, also composed of nondegenerate states. The treatment is then extended to systems with degenerate states and shown how to induce isomerization between the broken-symmetry local minima of a Jahn-Teller Al3O molecule. These approaches can be further generalized to situations with many initial, intermediate, and final states and applied to quantum coding and decoding problems. CCAP is then applied to cyclic population transfer (CPT), induced by coupling three states of a chiral molecule in a cyclic fashion, vertical bar 1 ><->vertical bar 2 ><->vertical bar 3 ><->vertical bar 1 >. Interference between two adiabatic pathways in CPT allows for a complete population transfer, coupled with multichannel selectivity, by virtue of its phase sensitivity. CPT can be used to show the purification of mixtures of right-handed and left-handed chiral molecules. Finally, quantum-field coherent control is introduced, where CCAP is extended to the use of nonclassical light. This emerging field may be used to generate new types of entangled radiation-matter states.