A formalism has been developed, using Feynman's spacetime formulation of nonrelativistic quantum mechanics whereby the behavior of a system of interest, which is coupled to other external quantum systems, may be calculated in terms of its own variables only. It is shown that the effect of the external systems in such a formalism can always be included in a general class of functionals (influence functionals) of the coordinates of the system only. The proper ties of influence functionals for general systems are examined. Then, specific forms of influence functionals representing the effect of definite and random classical forces, linear dissipative systems at finite temperatures, and combinations of these are analyzed in detail. The linear system analysis is first done for perfectly linear systems composed of combinations of harmonic oscillators, loss being introduced by continuous distributions of oscillators. Then approximately linear systems and restrictions necessary for the linear behavior are considered. Influence func tionals for all linear systems are shown to have the same form in terms of their classical response functions. In addition, a fluctuationdissipation theorem is derived relating temperature and dissipation of the linear system to a fluctuating classical potential acting on the system of interest which reduces to the NyquistJohnson relation for noise in the case of electric circuits. Sample calculations of transition probabilities for the spontaneous emission of an atom in free space and in a cavity are made. Finally, a theorem is proved showing that within the require ments of linearity all sources of noise or quantum fluctuation introduced by masertype amplification devices are accounted for by a classical calculation of the characteristics of the maser. © 1963 Academic Press

Authors: Feynman R.P., Vernon F.L., Jr.  Pages: 61 Year: 1963 
Tags: dissipative linear feynman system quantum vernon general theory interacting   Customers who bought this item also bought: 