Bayesian feedback versus Markovian feedback in a two-level atom.
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We compare two different approaches to the control of the dynamics of a continuously monitored open quantum system. The first is Markovian feedback, as introduced in quantum optics by Wiseman and Milburn [Phys. Rev. Lett. 70, 548 (1993)]. The second is feedback based on an estimate of the system state, developed recently by Doherty and Jacobs [Phys. Rev. A 60, 2700 (1999)]. Here we choose to call it, for brevity, Bayesian feedback. For systems with nonlinear dynamics, we expect these two methods of feedback control to give markedly different results. The simplest possible nonlinear system is a driven and damped two-level atom, so we choose this as our model system. The monitoring is taken to be homodyne detection of the atomic fluorescence, and the control is by modulating the driving. The aim of the feedback in both cases is to stabilize the internal state of the atom as close as possible to an arbitrarily chosen pure state, in the presence of inefficient detection and other forms of decoherence. Our results (obtained without recourse to stochastic simulations) prove that Bayesian feedback is never inferior, and is usually superior, to Markovian feedback. However, it would be far more difficult to implement than Markovian feedback and it loses its superiority when obvious simplifying approximations are made. It is thus not clear which form of feedback would be better in the face of inevitable experimental imperfections.
Physical Review A: Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics
© 2002 American Physical Society. This is the author-manuscript version of this paper. Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the journal's website for access to the definitive, published version.