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AbstractFor sufficiently low reservoir temperatures, it is known that open quantum systems subject to decoherent interactions with the reservoir relax towards their ground state in the weak coupling limit. Within the framework of quantum master equations, this is formalized by the Born-Markov-secular (BMS) approximation, where one obtains the system Gibbs state with the reservoir temperature as a stationary state. When the solution to some problem is encoded in the (isolated) ground state of a system Hamiltonian, decoherence can therefore be exploited for computation. The computational complexity is then given by the scaling of the relaxation time with the system size $n$. We study the relaxation behavior for local and non-local Hamiltonians that are coupled dissipatively with local and non-local operators to a bosonic bath in thermal equilibrium. We find that relaxation is generally more efficient when coherences of the density matrix in the system energy eigenbasis are taken into account. In addition, the relaxation speed strongly depends on the matrix elements of the coupling operators between initial state and ground state. We show that Dicke superradiance is a special case of our relaxation models and can thus be understood as a coherence-assisted relaxation speedup.
Comment: 11 pages, 3 figures, reviewer suggestions included, to appear in PRA
Phys. Rev. A 81, 012102 (2010)