# Off diagonal element of density matrix

1. May 14, 2009

### KFC

For two level system , let denotes the ground state as 1 and exctied state as 2, for writing the office off-diagonal matrix element for the density operator, shall it be

$$\rho_{12} = |2\rangle\langle 1|$$

and

$$\rho_{21} = |1\rangle\langle 2|$$

???

2. May 15, 2009

### naima

From a pure state f = a|0> + b|1> one gets the density opérator
(a|0> + b|1>)(a*<0| + b*<1|)
with a off diagonal part ab*|0><1|
the off diagonal matrix element is ab* = <f |0><1|f> (with |0> and |1> orthogonal)
With a mixture of pure state f1,f2 with probabilities p1, p2
we get p1<f1 |0><1|f1> + p2<f2 |0><1|f2>
I hope there is no error in my answer!