Dissipative quantum systems

System and environment

Real physical systems are never completely decoupled from their environment, they always interact with other degrees of freedom. This coupling can result in an irreversible energy transfer from the system to its environment, a process referred to as dissipation. In addition, the environment exerts a fluctuating force on the system leading to fluctuations of system observables. This effect manifests itself for example in the diffusive motion of a Brownian particle. Finally, in quantum mechanics, the coupling to the environment leads to the phenomenon of decoherence.

In this project, dissipative quantum systems are studied. We consider both, basic conceptual issues as well as specific quantum systems under the influence of environmental degrees of freedom.