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Zihan Xia, Juan Garcia-Nila, Daniel Lidar (Mar 18 2024).

Abstract: Quantum master equations are commonly used to model the dynamics of open quantum systems, but their accuracy is rarely compared with the analytical solution of exactly solvable models. In this work, we perform such a comparison for the damped Jaynes-Cummings model of a qubit in a leaky cavity, for which an analytical solution is available in the one-excitation subspace. We consider the non-Markovian time-convolutionless master equation up to the second (Redfield) and fourth orders as well as three types of Markovian master equations: the coarse-grained, cumulant, and standard rotating-wave approximation (RWA) Lindblad equations. We compare the exact solution to these master equations for three different spectral densities: impulse, Ohmic, and triangular. We demonstrate that the coarse-grained master equation outperforms the standard RWA-based Lindblad master equation for weak coupling or high qubit frequency (relative to the spectral density high-frequency cutoff $\omega_c$), where the Markovian approximation is valid. In the presence of non-Markovian effects characterized by oscillatory, non-decaying behavior, the TCL approximation closely matches the exact solution for short evolution times (in units of $\omega_c^{-1}$) even outside the regime of validity of the Markovian approximations. For long evolution times, all master equations perform poorly, as quantified in terms of the trace-norm distance from the exact solution. The fourth-order time-convolutionless master equation achieves the top performance in all cases. Our results highlight the need for reliable approximation methods to describe open-system quantum dynamics beyond the short-time limit.

Arxiv: https://arxiv.org/abs/2403.09944