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Upper limit on the acceleration of a quantum evolution in projective Hilbert space

Paul M. AlsingCarlo Cafaro
Feb 2024
It is remarkable that Heisenberg's position-momentum uncertainty relation leads to the existence of a maximal acceleration for a physical particle in the context of a geometric reformulation of quantum mechanics. It is also known that the maximal acceleration of a quantum particle is related to the magnitude of the speed of transportation in projective Hilbert space. In this paper, inspired by the study of geometric aspects of quantum evolution by means of the notions of curvature and torsion, we derive an upper bound for the rate of change of the speed of transportation in an arbitrary finite-dimensional projective Hilbert space. The evolution of the physical system being in a pure quantum state is assumed to be governed by an arbitrary time-varying Hermitian Hamiltonian operator. Our derivation, in analogy to the inequalities obtained by L. D. Landau in the theory of fluctuations by means of general commutation relations of quantum-mechanical origin, relies upon a generalization of Heisenberg's uncertainty relation. We show that the acceleration squared of a quantum evolution in projective space is upper bounded by the variance of the temporal rate of change of the Hamiltonian operator. Moreover, focusing for illustrative purposes on the lower-dimensional case of a single spin qubit immersed in an arbitrarily time-varying magnetic field, we discuss the optimal geometric configuration of the magnetic field that yields maximal acceleration along with vanishing curvature and unit geodesic efficiency in projective Hilbert space. Finally, we comment on the consequences that our upper bound imposes on the limit at which one can perform fast manipulations of quantum systems to mitigate dissipative effects and/or obtain a target state in a shorter time.
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