Exact wave packet decoherence dynamics in a discrete spectrum environment

Matisse W.Y. Tu, Wei Min Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We find an exact analytical solution of the reduced density matrix from the Feynman-Vernon influence functional theory for a wave packet in an environment containing a few discrete modes. We obtain two intrinsic energy scales relating to the time scales of the system and the environment. The different relationship between these two scales alters the overall form of the solution of the system. We also introduce a decoherence measure for a single wave packet which is defined as the ratio of Schrödinger uncertainty over the delocalization extension of the wave packet and characterizes the time-evolution behaviour of the off-diagonal reduced density matrix element. We utilize the exact solution and the decoherence measure to study the wave packet decoherence dynamics. We further demonstrate how the dynamical diffusion of the wave packet leads to non-Markovian decoherence in such a microscopic environment.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number245501
JournalJournal of Physics B: Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics
Issue number24
StatePublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes


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