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Interplay of different environments in open quantum systems: Breakdown of the additive approximation

Giusteri, Giulio G.; Recrosi, Filippo; Schaller, Gernot; Celardo, G. Luca

We analyze an open quantum system under the influence of more than one environment: a dephasing bath and a probability-absorbing bath that represents a decay channel, as encountered in many models of quantum networks. In our case, dephasing is modeled by random fluctuations of the site energies, while the absorbing bath is modeled with an external lead attached to the system. We analyze under which conditions the effects of the two baths can enter additively the quantum master equation. When such additivity is legitimate, the reduced master equation corresponds to the evolution generated by an effective non-Hermitian Hamiltonian and a Haken-Strobl dephasing super-operator. We find that the additive decomposition is a good approximation when the strength of dephasing is small compared to the bandwidth of the probability-absorbing bath.
Published in: Physical Review E, 10.1103/physreve.96.012113, American Physical Society (APS)