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Dissipation in quantum mechanics

  1. Nov 3, 2014 #1
    In classical mechanics potential is defined for conservative forces and dissipative forces such as friction don't have potential. In quantum mechanics, Schrödinger equation which includes a potential, deals with problems. How can one treat the dissipative forces in quantum mechanics?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 3, 2014 #2

    Demystifier

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    There are several methods one may use.

    The most popular method is to consider the system as an open system, described not by a pure state (wave function) but by a mixed density matrix. For more details see
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_quantum_system
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lindblad_equation

    Some basics of methods for open quantum systems can even be found in some general textbooks on QM, such as
    https://www.amazon.com/Quantum-Processes-Information-Benjamin-Schumacher/dp/052187534X
    https://www.amazon.com/Quantum-Mech...id=1415019034&sr=1-2&keywords=quantum+auletta


    Another (but related) method is to consider your dissipative system as a part of a larger system, such that the larger system is a non-dissipative one. Unfortunately, the method may depend on how exactly you enlarge your original dissipative system.


    A completely different, more abstract method, is by using Weyl quantisation:
    http://lanl.arxiv.org/abs/quant-ph/0311159
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 7, 2017
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