Limits of effective potential approach: Nucleus-electron entanglement in a model of the -ion
Institut für Theoretische Physik, Universität Stuttgart
Pfaffenwaldring 57, 70550 Stuttgart, Germany
Accepted: 23 April 2002
Entanglement may be considered a resource for quantum information processing, as the origin of robust and universal equilibrium behaviour, but also as a limit to the validity of an effective potential approach, in which the influence of certain interacting subsystems is treated as a potential. Here we show that a closed three-particle (two protons, one electron) model of a -ion featuring realistic size, interactions and energy scales of electron and nucleus, respectively, exhibits different types of dynamics depending on the initial state: For some cases the conventional approach, in which the nucleus only appears as the center of a Coulomb potential, is valid, in others this approach fails due to entanglement arising on timescales as small as 10-5 . Eventually, the system can even show signatures of thermodynamical behaviour, i.e. the electron may relax to a maximum local entropy state which is, to some extent, independent of the details of the initial state.
PACS: 03.65.-w – Quantum mechanics / 03.65.Ud – Entanglement and quantum nonlocality (e.g., EPR paradox, Bell's inequalities, GHZ states, etc.) / 05.70.-a – Thermodynamics
© EDP Sciences, 2002