Modelling a Bistable System Strongly Coupled to a Debye Bath: A Quasiclassical Approach Based on the Generalised Langevin Equation

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Abstract

Bistable systems present two degenerate metastable configurations separated by an energy bar- rier. Thermal or quantum fluctuations can promote the transition between the configurations at a rate which depends on the dynamical properties of the local environment (i.e., a thermal bath). In the case of classical systems, strong system-bath interaction has been successfully modelled by the Generalised Langevin Equation (GLE) formalism. Here we show that the efficient GLE algorithm introduced in Phys. Rev. B 89, 134303 (2014) can be extended to include some crucial aspects of the quantum fluctuations. In particular, the expected isotopic effect is observed along with the convergence of the quantum and classical transition rates in the strong coupling limit. Saturation of the transition rates at low temperature is also retrieved, in qualitative, yet not quantitative, agreement with the analytic predictions. The discrepancies in the tunnelling regime are due to an incorrect sampling close to the barrier top. The domain of applicability of the quasiclassical GLE is also discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages21
JournalComputational methods in science and technology
Volume23
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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