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Journal Article

Generalized quantum master equations in and out of equilibrium: When can one win?


Kelly,  Aaron
Department of Chemistry, Stanford University, Stanford, California 94305, USA;
Miller Group, Atomically Resolved Dynamics Department, Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter, Max Planck Society;

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Kelly, A., Montoya-Castillo, A., Wang, L., & Markland, T. E. (2016). Generalized quantum master equations in and out of equilibrium: When can one win? The Journal of Chemical Physics, 144(18): 184105. doi:10.1063/1.4948612.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-002A-E503-D
Generalized quantum master equations (GQMEs) are an important tool in modeling chemical and physical processes. For a large number of problems, it has been shown that exact and approximate quantum dynamics methods can be made dramatically more efficient, and in the latter case more accurate, by proceeding via the GQME formalism. However, there are many situations where utilizing the GQME approach with an approximate method has been observed to return the same dynamics as using that method directly. Here, for systems both in and out of equilibrium, we provide a more detailed understanding of the conditions under which using an approximate method can yield benefits when combined with the GQME formalism. In particular, we demonstrate the necessary manipulations, which are satisfied by exact quantum dynamics, that are required to recast the memory kernel in a form that can be analytically shown to yield the same result as a direct application of the dynamics regardless of the approximation used. By considering the connections between these forms of the kernel, we derive the conditions that approximate methods must satisfy if they are to offer different results when used in conjunction with the GQME formalism. These analytical results thus provide new insights as to when proceeding via the GQME approach can be used to improve the accuracy of simulations.