Macroscopic quantum phenomena
Munro, W. J. (1994). Macroscopic quantum phenomena (Thesis, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)). The University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/12768
Permanent Research Commons link: https://hdl.handle.net/10289/12768
This thesis consists of two parts. Although both are concerned with macroscopic quantum phenomena, I choose to present the two parts quite separately. Macroscopic Quantum Phenomena: Tests of Quantum Mechanics The correctness of quantum mechanics has been verified in numerous situations. A particularly strong test of quantum mechanics was suggested by Bell, who showed that the predictions of all classical theories, based as they are on the assumptions of local realism, contradict those of quantum mechanics. Later work by Greenberger, Horne, and Zeilinger showed that the GHZ phenomena also contradicts all classical theories. Experimental tests of Bells inequality performed to date support quantum mechanics (No experimental test of the GHZ phenomenon has yet been attempted). However, such tests have been so far restricted to microscopic systems in the sense that one particle is at a detector at a time. Our interest here in the first part of this thesis is in tests of quantum mechanics against local realistic theories in macroscopic or mesoscopic systems where there is a significant number of particles incident on each analyser. The states considered in the first two chapters are not simple quantum superpositions of macroscopically distinct states, but we nevertheless show how one can obtain tests of quantum mechanics in situations involving large numbers of particles. A more elementary macroscopic quantum state, and one in which the deviation from classical interpretations is striking, is the Schrodinger Cat state considered by Schrodinger in his famous "Schrodinger Cat" paradox. In Chapter Three we consider a scheme for generating such a state. The Quantum Brownian Motion Master Equation The second section of this thesis involves an examination of various aspects of the Quantum Brownian Motion Master Equation. We begin with a discussion of the recent problem occurring from the study of the quantum Brownian motion (QBM) master equation, which can occur because the QBM master equation is not of the Lindblad form. We examine two specific examples, namely the damped free particle and the two level atom. More specifically, in the case of the evolution of a free particle, we show that the equation of motion for the Wigner function (which is exactly the same as the Fokker-Planck equation for classical Brownian motion) gives unphysical results if the initial position distribution is well localised. In the case of the two level atom we show that unphysical results can also occur even in the steady state. The last chapter of the thesis involves using the quantum Brownian motion master equation to estimate the rate of diagonalisation of the off diagonal elements of a Fermion system. These elements contain the "quantum information" and hence knowledge of how long they exist can determine the type of model required to describe the semiconductor medium. Using a very simplistic approach we can show that there are two main time scales present and for normal parameters one of these is very small. If we neglect electron-electron scattering we can show that the the many electron system solution is simply a product of the one electron solutions.
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