Comparison of quantum open-system models with localization

Michael R. Gallis, Gordon N. Fleming

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Several modifications of the Schrödinger equation that dynamically reduce the off-diagonal elements of the density operator in the position representation (localization) have received recent attention in the literature. Models of quantum open systems provide localization for the system of interest by considering the effects of an environment on the effective master equation that describes the dynamics of the reduced density operator for the system of interest. In contrast, localization is introduced as a fundamental modification to the Schrödinger equation in quantum mechanics with spontaneous localization (QMSL) [G. C. Ghirardi, A. Rhimini, and T. Weber, Phys. Rev. D 34, 470 (1986)]. We compare several environment models and discuss some of the anomalous features of the effective master equations noted by Ballentine [L. E. Ballentine, Phys. Rev. A 43, 9 (1991)] by examining the Ehrenfest relations for position, energy, and momentum. Insight is provided into the relative importance of various terms in the effective master equations for several environment models. We also briefly discuss the implications of similar anomalous features present in the QMSL master equation in light of our analysis of the open-system models.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5778-5786
Number of pages9
JournalPhysical Review A
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1991

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


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