Master Equation in Phase Space for a Uniaxial Spin System

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Abstract

A master equation, for the time evolution of the quasi-probability density function of spin orientations in the phase space representation of the polar and azimuthal angles is derived for a uniaxial spin system subject to a magnetic field parallel to the axis of symmetry. This equation is obtained from the reduced density matrix evolution equation (assuming that the spin-bath coupling is weak and that the correlation time of the bath is so short that the stochastic process resulting from it is Markovian) by expressing it in terms of the inverse Wigner-Stratonovich transformation and evaluating the various commutators via the properties of polarization operators and spherical harmonics. The properties of this phase space master equation, resembling the Fokker-Planck equation, are investigated, leading to a finite series (in terms of the spherical harmonics) for its stationary solution, which is the equilibrium quasi-probability density function of spin “orientations” corresponding to the canonical density matrix and which may be expressed in closed form for a given spin number. Moreover, in the large spin limit, the master equation transforms to the classical Fokker-Planck equation describing the magnetization dynamics of a uniaxial paramagnet.

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