In nonrelativistic quantum mechanics time enters as a parameter in the Schrödinger equation. However, there are various situations where the need arises to view time as a dynamical variable. In this paper we consider the dynamical role of time through the construction of a Lyapunov variable-i.e., a self-adjoint quantum observable whose expectation value varies monotonically as time increases. It is shown, in a constructive way, that a certain class of models admits a Lyapunov variable and that the existence of a Lyapunov variable implies the existence of a transformation mapping the original quantum mechanical problem to an equivalent irreversible representation. In addition, it is proven that in the irreversible representation there exists a natural time ordering observable splitting the Hilbert space at each t>0 into past and future subspaces.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
- Mathematical Physics