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Durham Seminar, Wednesday 23 January 2019

12:00 - 13:00

CG 60

Eva-Maria Graefe

Evolution of Gaussian wave packets in the presence of losses and gains

In recent years there has been growing interest in open quantum systems described by non-Hermitian Hamiltonians in various fields. Examples are scattering systems and the effective description of absorption and amplification. The classical counterparts of non-Hermitian quantum systems, however, remained illusive. In this talk I present results on the quantum evolution of Gaussian wave packets generated by a non-Hermitian Hamiltonian in the semiclassical limit of small hbar. This yields a generalisation of the Ehrenfest theorem for the dynamics of observable expectation values. The resulting equations of motion for dynamical variables are coupled to an equation of motion for the phase-space metric - a phenomenon having no analogue in Hermitian theories. The insight that can be gained by this classical description will be demonstrated for a number of example systems.