Friday, April 25, 2014

[1402.3380] The approach to equilibrium in a macroscopic quantum system for a typical nonequilibrium subspace

[1402.3380] The approach to equilibrium in a macroscopic quantum system for a typical nonequilibrium subspace:



 "We study the problem of the approach to equilibrium in a macroscopic quantum system in an abstract setting. We prove that, for a typical choice of "nonequilibrium subspace", any initial state (from the energy shell) thermalizes, and in fact does so very quickly, on the order of the Boltzmann time τB:=h/(kBT). This apparently unrealistic, but mathematically rigorous, conclusion has the important physical implication that the moderately slow decay observed in reality is not typical in the present setting.
The fact that macroscopic systems approach thermal equilibrium may seem puzzling, for example, because it may seem to conflict with the time-reversibility of the microscopic dynamics. According the present result, what needs to be explained is, not that macroscopic systems approach equilibrium, but that they do so slowly.
Mathematically our result is based on an interesting property of the maximum eigenvalue of the Hadamard product of a positive semi-definite matrix and a random projection matrix. The recent exact formula by Collins for the integral with respect to the Haar measure of the unitary group plays an essential role in our proof."



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