Dynamics of thermalisation and decoherence

Derek Lee, Imperial College

In this talk, I will discuss recent work on the thermalisation and loss of quantum coherence in a closed nanoscale systems. There has been much evidence that local observables have in general a canonical thermal distribution even in a closed quantum system, with the remainder of the system acting as its environment. How does a system prepared in a coherent initial state evolve in time to this thermal state? Under what conditions does this occur? I will present numerical results and a simple analytical picture for the dynamics of this evolution.