Coherent versus measurement feedback: Linear systems theory for quantum information

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81 Citations (Scopus)


To control a quantum system via feedback, we generally have two options in choosing a control scheme. One is the coherent feedback, which feeds the output field of the system, through a fully quantum device, back to manipulate the system without involving any measurement process. The other one is measurementbased feedback, which measures the output field and performs a real-time manipulation on the system based on the measurement results. Both schemes have advantages and disadvantages, depending on the system and the control goal; hence, their comparison in several situations is important. This paper considers a general open linear quantum system with the following specific control goals: backaction evasion, generation of a quantum nondemolished variable, and generation of a decoherence-free subsystem, all of which have important roles in quantum information science. Some no-go theorems are proven, clarifying that those goals cannot be achieved by any measurement-based feedback control. On the other hand, it is shown that, for each control goal there exists a coherent feedback controller accomplishing the task. The key idea to obtain all the results is system theoretic characterizations of the above three notions in terms of controllability and observability properties or transfer functions of linear systems, which are consistent with their standard definitions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number041029
JournalPhysical Review X
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Optics
  • Quantum information
  • Quantum physics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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