Decoherence of wave packets in an anharmonic oscillator

P. Földi, M. Benedict, Attila Czirják, Balázs Molnár

Research output: Article

1 Citation (Scopus)


The time evolution of wave packets in the Morse potential is investigated under the influence of the environment consisting of harmonic oscillators. These oscillators represent photon or phonon modes and are assumed to be in thermal equilibrium. Our model explicitly incorporates the fact that in the case of a nonequidistant spectrum the rates of the environment induced transitions are different for each transition. The nonunitary time evolution is visualized by the aid of the corresponding Wigner function. The time scale of decoherence is much shorter than that of dissipation, and gives rise to states that are mixtures of localized states along the phase-space orbit of the corresponding classical particle. This behavior is to a large extent independent of the coupling strength, the temperature of the environment, and also the initial state.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
JournalPhysical Review A - Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - jan. 1 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics

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