Non-Markovian stochastic Schrodinger equations: Generalization to real-valued noise using quantum measurement theory.
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Do stochastic Schr椩nger equations, also known as unravelings, have a physical interpretation? In the Markovian limit, where the system on average obeys a master equation, the answer is yes. Markovian stochastic Schr椩nger equations generate quantum trajectories for the system state conditioned on continuously monitoring the bath. For a given master equation, there are many different unravelings, corresponding to different sorts of measurement on the bath. In this paper we address the non-Markovian case, and in particular the sort of stochastic Schr椩nger equation introduced by Strunz, Di㳩, and Gisin [Phys. Rev. Lett. 82, 1801 (1999)]. Using a quantum-measurement theory approach, we rederive their unraveling that involves complex-valued Gaussian noise. We also derive an unraveling involving real-valued Gaussian noise. We show that in the Markovian limit, these two unravelings correspond to heterodyne and homodyne detection, respectively. Although we use quantum-measurement theory to define these unravelings, we conclude that the stochastic evolution of the system state is not a true quantum trajectory, as the identity of the state through time is a fiction.
Physical Review A: Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics
© 2002 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.