Ehrenfest statistical dynamics in chemistry: study of decoherence effects and of its equilibrium distribution.
We investigate decoherence, pointer states and the equilibrium distribution in the Ehrenfest Statistical Dynamics (ESD) model by considering ensembles of trajectories of simple but realistic molecular models, consisting of two classical cores and one quantum electron. The Ehrenfest model is sometimes discarded as a valid approximation to non-adiabatic coupled quantum-classical dynamics because it does not describe the decoherence in the quantum subsystem, which should exist due to its interaction with the classical subsystem. However, any rigorous statistical analysis of the Ehrenfest dynamics, such as the described ESD formalism described, proves that some decoherence-like effects, in particular purity decreasing, exist when ensembles of trajectories are considered. In this article, decoherence in ESD is studied by measuring the change in the quantum subsystem purity and by analysing the appearance of pointer states to which the system decoheres, which for our example are the eigenstates of the electronic Hamiltonian. Furthermore, following the formalism presented in previous works, the true equilibrium distribution for the ESD determined following the Balescu approach is used in the definition of potential energy surfaces dependent on the temperature and in the computation of the temperature dependence of the internuclear distance.
Publisher URL: http://arxiv.org/abs/1801.06137