Environmental dynamics, correlations, and the emergence of noncanonical equilibrium states in open quantum systems
Abstract
Quantum systems are invariably open, evolving under surrounding influences rather than in isolation. Standard open quantum system methods eliminate all information on the environmental state to yield a tractable description of the system dynamics. By incorporating a collective coordinate of the environment into the system Hamiltonian, we circumvent this limitation. Our theory provides straightforward access to important environmental properties that would otherwise be obscured, allowing us to quantify the evolving systemenvironment correlations. As a direct result, we show that the generation of robust systemenvironment correlations that persist into equilibrium (heralded also by the emergence of nonGaussian environmental states) renders the canonical system steady state almost always incorrect. The resulting equilibrium states deviate markedly from those predicted by standard perturbative techniques and are instead fully characterized by thermal states of the mapped systemcollective coordinate Hamiltonian. We outline how noncanonical system states could be investigated experimentally to study deviations from canonical thermodynamics, with direct relevance to molecular and solidstate nanosystems.
 Publication:

Physical Review A
 Pub Date:
 September 2014
 DOI:
 10.1103/PhysRevA.90.032114
 arXiv:
 arXiv:1311.0016
 Bibcode:
 2014PhRvA..90c2114I
 Keywords:

 03.65.Yz;
 03.65.Ta;
 42.50.Lc;
 Decoherence;
 open systems;
 quantum statistical methods;
 Foundations of quantum mechanics;
 measurement theory;
 Quantum fluctuations quantum noise and quantum jumps;
 Quantum Physics;
 Condensed Matter  Mesoscale and Nanoscale Physics
 EPrint:
 10 pages, 4 figures, close to published version