There has been much progress in the control of chemical reactions since methods of active control were first proposed by Brumer & Shapiro and by Tannor & Rice ten years ago. This chapter reviews both theoretical and experimental advances in the field. Control schemes based on quantum mechanical interference between competing paths and the manipulation of wave packets with tailored laser pulses are discussed. The theory of optimal control, the limitations of control theory applied to many-body dynamics, and the effects of constraints on the trajectory of the controlled observable are presented. Experimental progress in controlling the population of specific quantum states, in manipulating the dynamics of bound wave packets, and in the control of chemical reactions are reviewed, and current problems in the field are summarized.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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