Adapted projection operator technique for the treatment of initial correlations

Andrea Trevisan, Andrea Smirne, Nina Megier, Bassano Vacchini
2021 Physical Review A  
Standard theoretical descriptions of the dynamics of open quantum systems rely on the assumption that the correlations with the environment can be neglected at some reference (initial) time. While being reasonable in specific instances, such as when the coupling between the system and the environment is weak or when the interaction starts at a distinguished time, the use of initially uncorrelated states is questionable if one wants to deal with general models, taking into account the mutual
more » ... uence that the open-system and environmental evolutions perform on each other. Here we introduce a perturbative method that can be applied to any microscopic modeling of the system-environment interaction, including fully general initial correlations. Extending the standard technique based on projection operators that single out the relevant part of the global dynamics, we define a family of projections adapted to a convenient decomposition of the initial state, which involves a convex mixture of product operators with proper environmental states. This leads us to characterize the open-system dynamics via an uncoupled system of differential equations, which are homogeneous and whose number is limited by the dimensionality of the open system, for any kind of initial correlations. Our method is further illustrated by means of two case studies, for which it reproduces the expected dynamical behavior in the long-time regime more consistently than the standard projection technique.
doi:10.1103/physreva.104.052215 fatcat:fyyegwoz7nfi3jkoxbee6r32di