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Physical Review A - Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics


We reexamine the problem of switching off unwanted phase evolution and decoherence in a single two-state quantum system in the light of recent results on random dynamical decoupling methods [L. Viola and E. Knill, Phys. Rev. Lett. 94, 060502 (2005)]. A systematic comparison with standard cyclic decoupling is effected for a variety of dynamical regimes, including the case of both semiclassical and fully quantum decoherence models. In particular, exact analytical expressions are derived for randomized control of decoherence from a bosonic environment. We investigate quantitatively control protocols based on purely deterministic, purely random, as well as hybrid design, and identify their relative merits and weaknesses at improving system performance. We find that for time-independent systems, hybrid protocols tend to perform better than pure random and may improve over standard asymmetric schemes, whereas random protocols can be considerably more stable against fluctuations in the system parameters. Beside shedding light on the physical requirements underlying randomized control, our analysis further demonstrates the potential for explicit control settings where the latter may significantly improve over conventional schemes.