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Decoherence in the kinetic regime

Mathematical Physics & Probability

Speaker: Riccardo Adami, University of Milano Bicocca
Location: 2112 MSB
Start time: Wed, Apr 1 2009, 4:10PM

The dynamics of a system consisting of an electron and a phonon field is described by a Schroedinger equation on the tensor product of a bosonic Fock space with the space of the electron's wave functions. As initial state of the electron we choose the superposition of two spatially localized distant bumps moving towards each other. The phonons are initially a thermal state. We study the kinetic limit of the dynamics of the system, and show that the quantum interference between the two bumps decays exponentially in time, with a decay rate proportional to the total scattering cross section of the electron-phonon interaction. Such a phenomenon is called decoherence. The result was obtained in collaboration with L. Erdos (Munich).