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.
|Journal||Physical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics|
|State||Published - 16 Sep 2011|