Quantum Smoluchowski equation for a spin bath

Sudarson Sekhar Sinha*, Arnab Ghosh, Deb Shankar Ray

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We derive the quantum mechanical description of overdamped Brownian motion of a particle in a spin bath of two-level atoms. The resulting Smoluchowski equation is used to calculate the rate of escape of the particle from a metastable state. At 0 K the decay rate is finite. We show that while quantization enhances the decay rate, higher temperatures induce thermal saturation, resulting in effective a reduction of the system-bath coupling. The role of coherence is examined.

Original languageEnglish
Article number031118
JournalPhysical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics
Issue number3
StatePublished - 16 Sep 2011
Externally publishedYes


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