Landau-Zener problem with decay and dephasing

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14 Scopus citations


Two aspects of the classic two-level Landau-Zener (LZ) problem are considered. First, we address the LZ problem when one or both levels decay, i.e., j(t)→ j(t)-iΓj/2. We find that if the system evolves from an initial time -T to a final time +T such that | 1(±T)- 2(±T)| is not too large, the LZ survival probability of a state |j can increase with increasing decay rate of the other state |i≠j . This surprising result occurs because the decay results in crossing of the two eigenvalues of the instantaneous non-Hermitian Hamiltonian. On the other hand, if | 1(±T)- 2(±T)|→∞ as T→∞, the probability is independent of the decay rate. These results are based on analytic solutions of the time-dependent Schrödinger equations for two cases: (a) the energy levels depend linearly on time, and (b) the energy levels are bounded and of the form 1,2(t)=± tanh(t/T). Second, we study LZ transitions affected by dephasing by formulating the Landau-Zener problem with noise in terms of a Schrödinger-Langevin stochastic coupled set of differential equations. The LZ survival probability then becomes a random variable whose probability distribution is shown to behave very differently for long and short dephasing times. We also discuss the combined effects of decay and dephasing on the LZ probability.

Original languageEnglish
Article number032116
JournalPhysical Review A - Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics
Issue number3
StatePublished - 30 Sep 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


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