Commun. Comput. Phys., 12 (2012), pp. 85-108.

A Numerical Study of Quantum Decoherence

Riccardo Adami 1, Claudia Negulescu 2*

1 Dipartimento di Matematica e Applicazioni, Universita di Milano Bicocca, via R. Cozzi, 53 20125 Milano, Italy.
2 CMI/LATP (UMR 6632), Universite de Provence, 39, rue Joliot Curie, 13453 Marseille Cedex 13, France.

Received 1 October 2010; Accepted (in revised version) 1 June 2011
Available online 19 January 2012


The present paper provides a numerical investigation of the decoherence effect induced on a quantum heavy particle by the scattering with a light one. The time dependent two-particle Schrodinger equation is solved by means of a time-splitting method. The damping undergone by the non-diagonal terms of the heavy particle density matrix is estimated numerically, as well as the error in the Joos-Zeh approximation formula.

AMS subject classifications: 35Q40, 35Q41, 65M06, 65Z05, 70F05

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Key words: Quantum mechanics, Schrodinger equation, heavy-light particle scattering, interference, decoherence, numerical discretization, numerical analysis, splitting scheme.

*Corresponding author.
Email: (R. Adami), (C. Negulescu)

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