Home > Publications

K. Hornberger and J. E. Sipe,
Collisional decoherence reexamined,
Phys. Rev. A 68, 012105 (2003)


We rederive the quantum master equation for the decoherence of a massive Brownian particle due to collisions with the lighter particles from a thermal environment. Our careful treatment avoids the occurrence of squares of Dirac delta functions. It leads to a decoherence rate which is smaller by a factor of 2π compared to previous findings. This result, which is in agreement with recent experiments, is confirmed by both a physical analysis of the problem and by a perturbative calculation in the weak coupling limit.

(16 pages, 4 figures)   [ps, pdf, journal]                   (c) The American Physical Society