Introduction to open quantum systems -- spring term 2015


Erik Aurell

Ivan Khaymovich

Paolo Muratore-Ginanneschi 

Jukka Pekola

Course Description

The ability to manipulate objects on the smallest scales is ever increasing. To understand the physical basis of quantum computing and other exciting new technologies we must go beyond knowing the building blocks of nature (electrons, atoms, quantum dots etc) by themselves: we have to understand how they interact with the rest of the world. The objective of the course "Introduction to open quantum systems" is to do precisely this, with a focus on the physical process of decoherence. Topics covered in the course include the Feynman-Vernon theory of a quantum system interacting with a bath modelled as a large set of harmonic oscillators, quantum jump phenomena, and an interaction to experimental research in the Low Temperature Laboratory and Department of Applied Physics at Aalto.We will follow the text book of Breuer and Petruccione, available in Aalto library.

More information available in Noppa and Oodi by the course code PHYS-E0542. The course is given jointly by Aalto University and University of Helsinki.


Advanced studies

Credits and Grading

7.5 sp

Written exam at the end of the course.

Hometasks will be graded at maximum 1 point for each. This points will be added to the result of exam.


Basic Quantum and Statistical Mecahnics


Breuer, H.-P. & Petruccione, F. The theory of open quantum systems Oxford University Press, 2002, 625 (see at publisher)


Time: Wensdays 10-12 , and Fridays 10-12. First lecture will be on January 28, Wednesday, at 10:00.

Place: room Y405, the main building (Otakaari 1) in Otaniemi.

Lecture Notes

Available from the web-page of the latest installment of the course

  • Relation between Redfield and Lindblad master equations
  • Quantum jumps
  • Direct photodetection
  • Homodyne photodetection 
  • Heterodyne detection, secular approximation
  • No labels