Europhys. Lett.
Volume 61, Number 4, February 2003
Page(s) 431 - 437
Section General
Published online 01 February 2003
DOI: 10.1209/epl/i2003-00325-6
Europhys. Lett., 61 (4) , pp. 431-437 (2003)

Quantum irreversibility of energy spreading

T. Kottos1 and D. Cohen2

1  Max-Planck-Institut für Strömungsforschung Bunsenstraße 10, D-37073 Göttingen, Germany
2  Department of Physics, Ben-Gurion University - Beer-Sheva 84105, Israel

(Received 29 September 2002; accepted in final form 5 December 2002)

The analysis of dissipation and dephasing in driven mesoscopic devices requires a distinction between two notions of quantum irreversibility. One ("Loschmidt echo") is related to "time reversal", while the other is related to "driving reversal". In the latter context we define the time of maximum return ("compensation time") which generalizes the notion of "echo time". Non-perturbative features manifest themselves in the energy spreading process. This is demonstrated for the prototype random-matrix Wigner model, where the compensation time and the system response exhibit a non-universal scaling behavior.

03.65.-w - Quantum mechanics.
05.45.Mt - Semiclassical chaos ("quantum chaos").
73.23.-b - Electronic transport in mesoscopic systems.

© EDP Sciences 2003