Date of Award

8-1-2017

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Physics

First Advisor

Byrd, Mark

Abstract

A quantum system which evolves in time while interacting with an external environ- ment is said to be an open quantum system (OQS), and the influence of the environment on the unperturbed unitary evolution of the system generally leads to non-unitary dynamics. This kind of open system dynamical evolution has been typically modeled by a Standard Prescription (SP) which assumes that the state of the OQS is initially uncorrelated with the environment state. It is here shown that when a minimal set of physically motivated assumptions are adopted, not only does there exist constraints on the reduced dynamics of an OQS such that this SP does not always accurately describe the possible initial cor- relations existing between the OQS and environment, but such initial correlations, and even entanglement, can be witnessed when observing a particular class of reduced state transformations termed purity extractions are observed. Furthermore, as part of a more fundamental investigation to better understand the minimal set of assumptions required to formulate well defined reduced dynamical quantum maps, it is demonstrated that there exists a one-to-one correspondence between the set of initial reduced states and the set of admissible initial system-environment composite states when G-consistency is enforced. Given the discussions surrounding the requirement of complete positivity and the reliance on the SP, the results presented here may well be found valuable for determining the ba- sic properties of reduced dynamical maps, and when restrictions on the OQS dynamics naturally emerge.

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