Interpretation of non-Markovian stochastic Schrodinger equations as a hidden variable theory.
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Do diffusive non-Markovian stochastic Schr椩nger equations (SSEs) for open quantum systems have a physical interpretation? In a recent paper [Phys. Rev. A 66, 012108 (2002)] we investigated this question using the orthodox interpretation of quantum mechanics. We found that the solution of a non-Markovian SSE represents the state the system would be in at that time if a measurement was performed on the environment at that time, and yielded a particular result. However, the linking of solutions at different times to make a trajectory is, we concluded, a fiction. In this paper we investigate this question using the modal (hidden variable) interpretation of quantum mechanics. We find that the noise function z(t) appearing in the non-Markovian SSE can be interpreted as a hidden variable for the environment. That is, some chosen property (beable) of the environment has a definite value z(t) even in the absence of measurement on the environment. The non-Markovian SSE gives the evolution of the state of the system "conditioned" on this environment hidden variable. We present the theory for diffusive non-Markovian SSEs that have as their Markovian limit SSEs corresponding to homodyne and heterodyne detection, as well as one which has no Markovian limit.
Physical Review A (Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics)
Copyright 2003 American Physical Society. This is the author-manuscript version of this paper. Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the journal's website for access to the definitive, published version.