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Decoherence and pointer states in small antiferromagnets: A benchmark test

by H. C. Donker, H. De Raedt, M. I. Katsnelson

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Submission summary

Authors (as registered SciPost users): Hylke Donker
Submission information
Preprint Link:  (pdf)
Date accepted: 2017-02-24
Date submitted: 2017-02-17 01:00
Submitted by: Donker, Hylke
Submitted to: SciPost Physics
Ontological classification
Academic field: Physics
  • Condensed Matter Physics - Theory
  • Quantum Physics
Approach: Computational


We study the decoherence process of a four spin-1/2 antiferromagnet that is coupled to an environment of spin-1/2 particles. The preferred basis of the antiferromagnet is discussed in two limiting cases and we identify two $\it{exact}$ pointer states. Decoherence near the two limits is examined whereby entropy is used to quantify the $\it{robustness}$ of states against environmental coupling. We find that close to the quantum measurement limit, the self-Hamiltonian of the system of interest can become dynamically relevant on macroscopic timescales. We illustrate this point by explicitly constructing a state that is more robust than (generic) states diagonal in the system-environment interaction Hamiltonian.

List of changes

1) The figures have been enlarged, in particular Figs. 2 & 5.

2) The units of time t is stressed in the captions of the figures.

Published as SciPost Phys. 2, 010 (2017)

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