Decoherence Induced Equilibration

Foundations of Physics 37 (12):1716-1726 (2007)
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A pair of harmonic oscillators come in contact and then separate. This could be a model of an atom encountering an electromagnetic field. We explore the coherence properties of the resulting state as a function of the sort of initial condition used. A surprising result is that if one imagines a large collection of these objects repeatedly coming in contact and separating, the asymptotic distribution functions are not Boltzmann distributions, but rather exponentials with the same rate of dropoff



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