Simulation of open quantum systems by automated compression of arbitrary environments

Moritz Cygorek*, Michael Cosacchi, Alexei Vagov, Vollrath Martin Axt, Brendon W. Lovett, Jonathan Keeling, Erik M. Gauger*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Citations (Scopus)
23 Downloads (Pure)


Studies of the dynamics of open quantum systems are limited by the large Hilbert space of typical environments, which is too large to be treated exactly. In some cases, approximate descriptions of the system are possible, for example when the environment has a short memory time or only interacts weakly with the system. Accurate numerical methods exist but these are typically restricted to baths with Gaussian correlations, such as non-interacting bosons. Here we present a method for simulating open quantum systems with arbitrary environments that consist of a set of independent degrees of freedom. Our approach automatically reduces the large number of environmental degrees of freedom to those which are most relevant. Specifically, we show how the process tensor describing the effect of the environment can be iteratively constructed and compressed using matrix product state techniques. We demonstrate the power of this method by applying it to a range of open quantum systems, including with bosonic, fermionic, and spin environments. The versatility and efficiency of our automated compression of environments method provides a practical general-purpose tool for open quantum systems.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)662-668
Number of pages9
JournalNature Physics
Issue number6
Early online date24 Mar 2022
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2022


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