Semiclassical theory of coherence and decoherence


Fiete, G.A. & Heller, E.J. Semiclassical theory of coherence and decoherence. Physical Review A 68, 022112 (2003).


A general semiclassical approach to quantum systems with system-bath interactions is developed. We study system decoherence in detail using a coherent-state semiclassical wave-packet method which avoids singularity issues arising in the usual Green’s function approach. We discuss the general conditions under which it is approximately correct to discuss quantum decoherence in terms of a “dephasing” picture and we derive semiclassical expressions for the phase and phase distribution. Remarkably, an effective system wavefunction emerges whose norm measures the decoherence and is equivalent to a density-matrix formulation.

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Last updated on 10/07/2016