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Decoherence and pointer states in small antiferromagnets: A benchmark test

Hylke C. Donker, Hans De Raedt, Mikhail I. Katsnelson

SciPost Phys. 2, 010 (2017) | published 23 March 2017


We study the decoherence process of a four spin-1/2 antiferromagnet that is coupled to an environment of spin-1/2 particles. The preferred basis of the antiferromagnet is discussed in two limiting cases and we identify two $\it{exact}$ pointer states. Decoherence near the two limits is examined whereby entropy is used to quantify the $\it{robustness}$ of states against environmental coupling. We find that close to the quantum measurement limit, the self-Hamiltonian of the system of interest can become dynamically relevant on macroscopic timescales. We illustrate this point by explicitly constructing a state that is more robust than (generic) states diagonal in the system-environment interaction Hamiltonian.

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Donker, Hylke   De Raedt, Hans   Katsnelson, Mikhail