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Introduction to the theory of open quantum systems

Piotr Szańkowski

SciPost Phys. Lect. Notes 68 (2023) · published 18 April 2023


This manuscript is an edited and refined version of the lecture script for a one-semester graduate course given originally at the PhD school in the Institute of Physics of Polish Academy of Sciences in the Spring/Summer semester of 2022. The course expects from the student only a basic knowledge on graduate-level quantum mechanics. The script itself is largely self-contained and could be used as a textbook on the topic of open quantum systems. The program of this course is based on a novel approach to the description of the open system dynamics: It is showed how the environmental degrees of freedom coupled to the system can be represented by a multi-component quasi-stochastic process. Using this representation one constructs the super-quasi-cumulant (or super-qumulant) expansion for the system's dynamical map-a parametrization that naturally lends itself for the development of a robust and practical perturbation theory. Thus, even an experienced researcher might find this manuscript of some interest.

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