**Publication Details (including relevant citation information):**

International Journal of Modern Physics E 3 (1994) 635-714.

**Abstract:**

The damping of the harmonic oscillator is studied in the framework of the Lindblad theory for open quantum systems. A generalization of the fundamental constraints on quantum mechanical diffusion coefficients which appear in the master equation for the damped quantum oscillator is presented; the Schrödinger, Heisenberg and Weyl-Wigner-Moyal representations of the Lindblad equation are given explicitly. On the basis of these representations it is shown that various master equations for the damped quantum oscillator used in the literature are particular cases of the Lindblad equation and that not all of these equations are satisfying the constraints on quantum mechanical diffusion coefficients. Analytical expressions for the first two moments of coordinate and momentum are obtained by using the characteristic function of the Lindblad master equation. The master equation is transformed into Fokker-Planck equations for quasiprobability distributions and a comparative study is made for the Glauber P representation, the antinormal ordering Q representation, and the Wigner W representation. The density matrix is represented via a generating function, which is obtained by solving a timedependent linear partial differential equation derived from the master equation. Illustrative examples for specific initial conditions of the density matrix are provided. The solution of the master equation in the Weyl-Wigner-Moyal representation is of Gaussian type if the initial form of the Wigner function is taken to be a Gaussian corresponding (for example) to a coherent wavefunction. The damped harmonic oscillator is applied for the description of the charge equilibration mode observed in deep inelastic reactions. For a system consisting of two harmonic oscillators the time dependence of expectation values, Wigner function and Weyl operator, are obtained and discussed. In addition models for the damping of the angular momentum are studied. Using this theory to the quantum tunneling through the nuclear barrier, besides Gamow’s transitions with energy conservation, additional transitions with energy loss are found. The tunneling spectrum is obtained as a function of the barrier characteristics. When this theory is used to the resonant atom-field interaction, new optical equations describing the coupling through the environment of the atomic observables are obtained. With these equations, some characteristics of the laser radiation absorption spectrum and optical bistability are described.

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