Reentrant classicality of a damped system
1 Institut für Physik, Universität Augsburg - D-86135 Augsburg, Germany, EU
2 II. Institut für Theoretische Physik, Universität Stuttgart - D-70550 Stuttgart, Germany, EU
Received: 14 August 2013
Accepted: 20 September 2013
For a free particle, the coupling to its environment can be the relevant mechanism to induce quantum behavior as the temperature is lowered. We study general linear environments with a spectral density proportional to at low frequencies and consider in particular the specific heat of the free damped particle. For super-ohmic baths with , a reentrant classical behavior is found. As the temperature is lowered, the specific heat decreases from the classical value of , thereby indicating the appearence of quantum effects. However, the classical value of the specific heat is restored as the temperature approaches zero. This surprising behavior is due to the suppressed density of bath degrees of freedom at low frequencies. For s < 2, the specific heat at zero temperature increases linearly with s from to . An ohmic bath, s = 1, is thus very special in the sense that it represents the only case where the specific heat vanishes at zero temperature.
PACS: 05.30.-d – Quantum statistical mechanics / 05.70.-a – Thermodynamics / 65.40.Ba – Heat capacity
© EPLA, 2013