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Beyond Adiabatic Elimination: Effective Hamiltonians and Singular Perturbation

  • Sanz M
  • Solano E
  • Egusquiza Í
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Adiabatic elimination is a standard tool in quantum optics, which produces an effective Hamiltonian for a relevant subspace of states, incorporating effects of its coupling to states with much higher unperturbed energy. It shares with techniques from other fields the emphasis on the existence of widely separated scales. Given this fact, the question arises whether it is feasible to improve on the adiabatic approximation, similarly to some of those other approaches. A number of authors have addressed the issue from the quantum optics/atomic physics perspective, and have run into the issue of non-hermiticity of the effective Hamiltonian improved beyond the adiabatic approximation, which poses conceptual and practical problems. Here, we first briefly survey methods present in the physics literature. Next, we rewrite the problems addressed by the adiabatic elimination technique to make apparent the fact that they are singular perturbation problems from the point of view of dynamical systems. We apply the invariant manifold method for singular perturbation problems to this case, and show that this method produces the equation named after Bloch in nuclear physics. Given the wide separation of scales, it becomes intuitive that the Bloch equation admits iterative/perturbative solutions. We show, using a fixed point theorem, that indeed the iteration converges to a perturbative solution that produces in turn an exact Hamiltonian for the relevant subspace. We propose thus several sequences of effective Hamiltonians, starting with the adiabatic elimination and improving on it. We show the origin of the non-hermiticity, and that it is inessential given the isospectrality of the effective non-hermitian operator and a corresponding effective hermitian operator, which we build. We propose an application of the introduced techniques to periodic Hamiltonians.




Sanz, M., Solano, E., & Egusquiza, Í. L. (2016). Beyond Adiabatic Elimination: Effective Hamiltonians and Singular Perturbation (pp. 127–142).

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