Partition-free approach to open quantum systems in harmonic environments: An exact stochastic Liouville equation

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We present a partition-free approach to the evolution of density matrices for open quantum systems coupled to a harmonic environment. The influence functional formalism combined with a two-time Hubbard-Stratonovich transformation allows us to derive a set of exact differential equations for the reduced density matrix of an open system, termed the extended stochastic Liouville–von Neumann equation. Our approach generalizes previous work based on Caldeira-Leggett models and a partitioned initial density matrix. This provides a simple, yet exact, closed-form description for the evolution of open systems from equilibriated initial conditions. The applicability of this model and the potential for numerical implementations are also discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Article number125124
Number of pages14
JournalPhysical Review B
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 21 Mar 2017

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