Implementing high-fidelity quantum control and reducing the effect of the coupling between a quantum system and its environment is a major challenge in developing quantum information technologies. Here, we show that there exists a geometrical structure hidden within the time-dependent Schrödinger equation that provides a simple way to view the entire solution space of pulses that suppress noise errors in a system’s evolution. In this framework, any single-qubit gate that is robust against quasistatic noise to first order corresponds to a closed three-dimensional space curve, where the driving fields that implement the robust gate can be read off from the curvature and torsion of the space curve. Gates that are robust to second order are in one-to-one correspondence with closed curves whose projections onto three mutually orthogonal planes each enclose a vanishing net area. We use this formalism to derive examples of dynamically corrected gates generated from smooth pulses. We also show how it can be employed to analyze the noise-cancellation properties of pulses generated from numerical algorithms such as grape. A similar geometrical framework exists for quantum systems of arbitrary Hilbert space dimension.
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