Can Wigner distribution functions with collisions satisfy complete positivity and energy conservation?

Matteo Villani, Xavier Oriols

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To avoid the computational burden of many-body quantum simulation, the interaction of an electron with a photon (phonon) is typically accounted for by disregarding the explicit simulation of the photon (phonon) degree of freedom and just modeling its effect on the electron dynamics. For quantum models developed from the (reduced) density matrix or its Wigner-Weyl transformation, the modeling of collisions may violate complete positivity (precluding the typical probabilistic interpretation). In this paper, we show that such quantum transport models can also strongly violate the energy conservation in the electron-photon (electron-phonon) interactions. After comparing collisions models to exact results for an electron interacting with a photon, we conclude that there is no fundamental restriction that prevents a collision model developed within the (reduced) density matrix or Wigner formalisms to satisfy simultaneously complete positivity and energy conservation. However, at the practical level, the development of such satisfactory collision model seems very complicated. Collision models with an explicit knowledge of the microscopic state ascribed to each electron seems recommendable (Bohmian conditional wavefunction), since they allow to model collisions of each electron individually in a controlled way satisfying both complete positivity and energy conservation.
Idioma originalEnglish
Pàgines (de-a)2232-2244
Nombre de pàgines13
RevistaJournal of Computational Electronics
Estat de la publicacióPublicada - 2021


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