Thermalization Induced by Quantum Scattering



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Jacob, Samuel L. and Esposito, Massimiliano and Rodríguez Parrondo, Juan Manuel and Barra, Felipe (2021) Thermalization Induced by Quantum Scattering. PRX Quantum, 2 (2). ISSN 2691-3399

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We use quantum scattering theory to study a fixed quantum system Y subject to collisions with massive particles X described by wave packets. We derive the scattering map for system Y and show that the induced evolution crucially depends on the width of the incident wave packets compared to the level spacing in Y. If Y is nondegenerate, sequential collisions with narrow wave packets cause Y to decohere. Moreover, an ensemble of narrow packets produced by thermal effusion causes Y to thermalize. On the other hand, broad wave packets can act as a source of coherences for Y, even in the case of an ensemble of incident wave packets given by the effusion distribution, preventing thermalization. We illustrate our findings on several simple examples and discuss the consequences of our results in realistic experimental situations.

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S.L.J. is supported by the Doctoral Training Unit on Materials for Sensing and Energy Harvesting (MASSENA) with Grant No. FNR PRIDE/15/10935404. M.E. is also funded by the European Research Council (project NanoThermo, ERC-2015-CoG Agreement No. 681456). F.B. thanks Fondecyt project 1191441 and the Millennium Nucleus "Physics of active matter" of the Millennium Scientific Initiative. Part of this work is conducted at the KITP, a facility supported by the US National Science Foundation under Grant No. NSF PHY-1748958. J.M.R.P. acknowledges financial support from the Spanish Government (Grant Contract FIS-2017-83706-R) and from the Foundational Questions Institute Fund, a donor advised fund of Silicon Valley Community Foundation (Grant No. FQXi-IAF19-01).

Uncontrolled Keywords:Quantum Science & Technology; Physics, Applied; Physics, Multidisciplinary
Subjects:Sciences > Physics > Nuclear physics
ID Code:67903
Deposited On:23 Sep 2021 07:21
Last Modified:24 Sep 2021 07:41

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