Stochastic Path Integral Analysis of the Continuously Monitored Quantum Harmonic Oscillator

10 Mar 2021  ·  Tathagata Karmakar, Philippe Lewalle, Andrew N. Jordan ·

We consider the evolution of a quantum simple harmonic oscillator in a general Gaussian state under simultaneous time-continuous weak position and momentum measurements. We deduce the stochastic evolution equations for position and momentum expectation values and the covariance matrix elements from the system's characteristic function... By generalizing the Chantasri-Dressel-Jordan (CDJ) formalism (Chantasri et al.~2013 and 2015) to this continuous variable system, we construct its stochastic Hamiltonian and action. Action extremization gives us the equations for the most-likely readout paths and quantum trajectories. For steady states of the covariance matrix elements, the analytical solutions for these most-likely paths are obtained. Using the CDJ formalism we calculate final state probability densities exactly starting from any initial state. We also demonstrate the agreement between the optimal path solutions and the averages of simulated clustered stochastic trajectories. Our results provide insights into the time dependence of the mechanical energy of the system during the measurement process, motivating their importance for quantum measurement engine/refrigerator experiments. read more

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Quantum Physics