Relaxation and Decoherence

  • Dirk Dubbers
  • Hans-Jürgen Stöckmann
Part of the Graduate Texts in Physics book series (GTP)


In all solutions of the generalized spin precession equation studied so far, the components of the density matrix were either constant or exhibited an oscillatory behavior. In reality, however, every oscillation will eventually be damped out, and after some time the system will return to its thermal equilibrium, a process called relaxation. A perturbation approach within second order approximation leads to the remarkable result that each rank of tensor polarization decays with its own relaxation time constant. A similar result is obtained with a stochastic relaxation model in which relaxation is due to jump diffusion. The book concludes with a discussion of decoherence and its distinction from relaxation.


Density Matrix Liouville Equation Irreducible Tensor Decoherence Time Hydrocyanic Acid 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Abragam, A.: The Principles of Nuclear Magnetism. Oxford University Press, Oxford (1961) Google Scholar
  2. Bloembergen, N., Purcell, E.M., Pound, R.V.: Relaxation effects in nuclear magnetic resonance absorption. Phys. Rev. 73, 679–709 (1948) ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Breuer, H.-P., Petruccione, F.: The Theory of Open Quantum Systems. Oxford University Press, Oxford (2002) zbMATHGoogle Scholar
  4. Dattagupta, S.: Relaxation Phenomena in Condensed Matter Physics. Academic Press, New York (1987) Google Scholar
  5. Heitjans, P., Körblein, A., Ackermann, H., Dubbers, D., Fujara, F., Stöckmann, H.-J.: Self-diffusion of solid lithium probed by spin-lattice relaxation of 8Li nuclei. J. Phys. F 15, 41–54 (1985) ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Joos, E., Zeh, H.D., Kiefer, C., Kupsch, J., Stamatescu, I.-O.: Decoherence and the Appearance of a Classical World in Quantum Theory. Springer, Berlin (1996) zbMATHGoogle Scholar
  7. Strunz, W.T., Haake, F., Braun, D.: Universality of decoherence for macroscopic quantum superpositions. Phys. Rev. A 67, 022101(13) (2003) ADSGoogle Scholar
  8. Van Kampen, N.G.: Stochastic Processes in Physics and Chemistry. North-Holland, Amsterdam (1981) zbMATHGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dirk Dubbers
    • 1
  • Hans-Jürgen Stöckmann
    • 2
  1. 1.Fak. Physik und Astronomie, Physikalisches InstitutUniversität HeidelbergHeidelbergGermany
  2. 2.Fachbereich Physik Philipps-Universität MarburgMarburgGermany

Personalised recommendations