Quantum system under periodic perturbation: Effect of environment

M. Hotta, I. Joichi, Sh Matsumoto, M. Yoshimura

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


In many physical situations the behavior of a quantum system is affected by interaction with a larger environment. We develop, using the method of an influence functional, how to deduce the density matrix of the quantum system incorporating the effect of environment. After introducing the characterization of the environment by spectral weight, we first devise schemes to approximate the spectral weight, and then a perturbation method in field theory models, in order to approximately describe the environment. All of these approximate models may be classified as extended Ohmic models of dissipation whose differences are in the high frequency part. The quantum system we deal with in the present work is a general class of harmonic oscillators with an arbitrary time-dependent frequency. The late time behavior of the system is well described by an approximation that employs a localized friction in the dissipative part of the correlation function appearing in the influence functional. The density matrix of the quantum system is then determined in terms of a single classical solution obtained with the time-dependent frequency. With this one can compute the entropy, the energy distribution function, and other physical quantities of the system in a closed form. A specific application is made to the case of a periodically varying frequency. This dynamical system has a remarkable property when the environmental interaction is switched off: The effect of the parametric resonance gives rise to an exponential growth of the populated number in higher excitation levels, or particle production in field theory models. The effect of the environment is investigated for this dynamical system and it is demonstrated that there exists a critical strength of the friction for the parametric effect. In the model of a periodically oscillating field coupled to a system quantum field, it is verified that the parametric effect occurs in medium, with a somewhat diminished rate, if the relaxation time scale of the system field towards thermalization given by the friction term is larger than the time scale of the coherent parametric amplification. The effect persists until the back reaction against the periodic oscillation stops particle production. The resulting energy distribution of produced particles described by a universal function deviates from the thermal one, having an average energy that exponentially increases with time. The dynamical system driven by the parametric oscillator thus maintains and does not lose its quantum nature even in thermal bath. In the present work analytic formulas of how physical quantities behave at late times both in the high and in the low temperature regions are given, along with the results of a numerical computation displaying time evolution.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4614-4639
Number of pages26
JournalPhysical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


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