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Journal Article

Quantum approach to the thermalization of the toppling pencil interacting with a finite bath


Choudhury,  Sreeja L.
Max Planck Institute for the Physics of Complex Systems, Max Planck Society;

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Choudhury, S. L., & Grossmann, F. (2022). Quantum approach to the thermalization of the toppling pencil interacting with a finite bath. Physical Review A, 105(1): 022201. doi:10.1103/PhysRevA.105.022201.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-000A-1EC8-4
We investigate the longstanding problem of thermalization of quantum systems coupled to an environment by focusing on a bistable quartic oscillator interacting with a finite number of harmonic oscillators. In order to overcome the exponential wall that one usually encounters in grid-based approaches to solve the time-dependent Schrodinger equation of the extended system, methods based on the time-dependent variational principle are best suited. Here we will apply the method of coupled coherent states [D. V. Shalashilin and M. S. Child, J. Chem. Phys. 113, 10028 (2000)]. By investigating the dynamics of an initial wave function on top of the barrier of the double well, it will be shown that only a handful of oscillators with suitably chosen frequencies, starting in their ground states, is enough to drive the bistable system close to its uncoupled ground state. The long-time average of the double-well energy is found to be a monotonously decaying function of the number of environmental oscillators in the parameter range that was numerically accessible.