Microscopic reversibility of quantum open systems

Takaaki Monnai*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    6 Citations (Scopus)


    The transition probability of an isolated system for a time-dependent unitary evolution is invariant under the reversal of protocols. In this paper, we generalize the expression of microscopic reversibility to externally perturbed large quantum open systems, which provides a model-independent equality between time forward and reversed joint transition probabilities. A time-dependent external perturbation acts on the subsystem during a transient duration, and subsequently the perturbation is switched off so that the total system would thermalize. We concern ourselves with the net transition probability for the subsystem from the initial to final states after a time evolution during which the energy is irreversibly exchanged between the subsystem and reservoir. The time-reversed probability is given by the reversal of the forcing protocol and the initial ensemble. Microscopic reversibility equates the time forward and reversed probabilities, and therefore appears as a thermodynamic symmetry for open quantum systems.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number125001
    JournalJournal of Physics A: Mathematical and Theoretical
    Issue number12
    Publication statusPublished - 2012 Mar 30

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Mathematical Physics
    • Physics and Astronomy(all)
    • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
    • Modelling and Simulation
    • Statistics and Probability


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