, Volume 34, Issue 1, pp 1-20

Time Evolution in Macroscopic Systems. I. Equations of Motion

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Abstract

Time evolution of macroscopic systems is re-examined primarily through further analysis and extension of the equation of motion for the density matrix ρ(t). Because ρ contains both classical and quantum-mechanical probabilities it is necessary to account for changes in both in the presence of external influences, yet standard treatments tend to neglect the former. A model of time-dependent classical probabilities is presented to illustrate the required type of extension to the conventional time-evolution equation, and it is shown that such an extension is already contained in the definition of the density matrix.