Path integral renormalization for quantum dissipative dynamics with multiple timescales

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The reduced density matrix of a system coupled to a harmonic dissipative bath can be obtained accurately using an iterative path integral methodology that involves a propagator tensor, whose rank is roughly equal to the number of time steps that span the bath-induced memory. The present work shows that even in situations where the bath is characterized by high-frequency modes (which necessitate a small time step) and slow oscillators (which give rise to very long memory), efficient propagation that takes into account the memory on all time scales is feasible by renormalizing the propagator matrix to include successively larger-length influence functional correlations. At its crudest level, the renormalized propagator is an ordinary matrix, thus the computational demands of the method are very modest, similar to those for propagating the bare system. Yet, test applications on dissipative two-level systems show that the method produces accurate results in demanding situations. By including memory on successively increasing time scales, the method is capable of capturing nonexponential kinetics induced by sluggish solvents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1001-1007
Number of pages7
JournalMolecular Physics
Issue number9-10
StatePublished - May 10 2012


  • dissipation
  • harmonic bath
  • path integral
  • quantum dynamics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Molecular Biology
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry

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