Fast and accurate circularisation of a Rydberg atom.
Abstract
Preparation of a so-called circular state in a Rydberg atom where the projection of the electron angular momentum takes its maximum value is challenging due to the required amount of angular momentum transfer. Currently available protocols for circular state preparation are either accurate but slow or fast but error prone. Here we show how to use quantum optimal control theory to derive pulse shapes that realize fast and accurate circularization of a Rydberg atom. In particular, we present a theoretical proposal for optimized radio-frequency pulses that achieve high fidelity in the shortest possible time, given current experimental limitations on peak amplitudes and spectral bandwidth. We also discuss the fundamental quantum speed limit for circularization of a Rydberg atom when lifting these constraints.