### Abstract

We investigate the time development of a superposition of macroscopically distinct quantum states (Schrödinger cats) in an ensemble of two-level atoms. The system is interacting with a thermal environment of a macroscopic number of photon modes. The final equilibrium state of the atomic subsystem is diagonal in the energy eigenstates, and is determined by the Boltzmann distribution. The time scale of decoherence is, however, generally much shorter than that of dissipation. The initial fast regime of the time evolution associated with the decoherence is directed towards a classical state which is different from the thermal equilibrium. For general initial conditions the distance between the actual state of the system and this classical state is decreasing fast, suggesting an appropriate measure of decoherence.

Original language | English |
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Pages (from-to) | 285-292 |

Number of pages | 8 |

Journal | Acta Physica Slovaca |

Volume | 50 |

Issue number | 3 |

Publication status | Published - Jun 2000 |

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### ASJC Scopus subject areas

- Physics and Astronomy(all)

### Cite this

*Acta Physica Slovaca*,

*50*(3), 285-292.

**Decoherence and dissipation of atomic Schrödinger cats.** / Földi, P.; Czirják, A.; Benedict, M.

Research output: Contribution to journal › Article

*Acta Physica Slovaca*, vol. 50, no. 3, pp. 285-292.

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Decoherence and dissipation of atomic Schrödinger cats

AU - Földi, P.

AU - Czirják, A.

AU - Benedict, M.

PY - 2000/6

Y1 - 2000/6

N2 - We investigate the time development of a superposition of macroscopically distinct quantum states (Schrödinger cats) in an ensemble of two-level atoms. The system is interacting with a thermal environment of a macroscopic number of photon modes. The final equilibrium state of the atomic subsystem is diagonal in the energy eigenstates, and is determined by the Boltzmann distribution. The time scale of decoherence is, however, generally much shorter than that of dissipation. The initial fast regime of the time evolution associated with the decoherence is directed towards a classical state which is different from the thermal equilibrium. For general initial conditions the distance between the actual state of the system and this classical state is decreasing fast, suggesting an appropriate measure of decoherence.

AB - We investigate the time development of a superposition of macroscopically distinct quantum states (Schrödinger cats) in an ensemble of two-level atoms. The system is interacting with a thermal environment of a macroscopic number of photon modes. The final equilibrium state of the atomic subsystem is diagonal in the energy eigenstates, and is determined by the Boltzmann distribution. The time scale of decoherence is, however, generally much shorter than that of dissipation. The initial fast regime of the time evolution associated with the decoherence is directed towards a classical state which is different from the thermal equilibrium. For general initial conditions the distance between the actual state of the system and this classical state is decreasing fast, suggesting an appropriate measure of decoherence.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=0034373638&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=0034373638&partnerID=8YFLogxK

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:0034373638

VL - 50

SP - 285

EP - 292

JO - Acta Physica Slovaca

JF - Acta Physica Slovaca

SN - 0323-0465

IS - 3

ER -