Communication: Fully coherent quantum state hopping.
Published Web Locationhttps://doi.org/10.1063/1.4933049
In this paper, we describe a new and fully coherent stochastic surface hopping method for simulating mixed quantum-classical systems. We illustrate the approach on the simple but unforgiving problem of quantum evolution of a two-state quantum system in the limit of unperturbed pure state dynamics and for dissipative evolution in the presence of both stationary and nonstationary random environments. We formulate our approach in the Liouville representation and describe the density matrix elements by ensembles of trajectories. Population dynamics are represented by stochastic surface hops for trajectories representing diagonal density matrix elements. These are combined with an unconventional coherent stochastic hopping algorithm for trajectories representing off-diagonal quantum coherences. The latter generalizes the binary (0,1) "probability" of a trajectory to be associated with a given state to allow integers that can be negative or greater than unity in magnitude. Unlike existing surface hopping methods, the dynamics of the ensembles are fully entangled, correctly capturing the coherent and nonlocal structure of quantum mechanics.