Extremely quick thermalization in a macroscopic quantum system for a typical nonequilibrium subspace

Sheldon Goldstein, Takashi Hara, Hal Tasaki

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46 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The fact that macroscopic systems approach thermal equilibrium may seem puzzling, for example, because it may seem to conflict with the time-reversibility of the microscopic dynamics. We here prove that in a macroscopic quantum system for a typical choice of 'nonequilibrium subspace', any initial state indeed thermalizes, and in fact does so very quickly, on the order of the Boltzmann time τB :=h/ (kBT). Therefore what needs to be explained is, not that macroscopic systems approach thermal equilibrium, but that they do so slowly.

Original languageEnglish
Article number045002
JournalNew Journal of Physics
Volume17
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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