Indexed on: 21 Jan '02Published on: 21 Jan '02Published in: Nonlinear Sciences - Chaotic Dynamics
We define a quantity, the so-called purity fidelity, which measures the rate of dynamical irreversibility due to decoherence, observed e.g in echo experiments, in the presence of an arbitrary small perturbation of the total (system + environment) Hamiltonian. We derive a linear response formula for the purity fidelity in terms of integrated time correlation functions of the perturbation. Our relation predicts, similarly to the case of fidelity decay, faster decay of purity fidelity the slower decay of time correlations is. In particular, we find exponential decay in quantum mixing regime and faster, initially quadratic and later typically gaussian decay in the regime of non-ergodic, e.g. integrable quantum dynamics. We illustrate our approach by an analytical calculation and numerical experiments in the Ising spin 1/2 chain kicked with tilted homogeneous magnetic field where part of the chain is interpreted as a system under observation and part as an environment.