Unveiling environmental entanglement in strongly dissipative qubits

Journal Article

The coupling of a qubit to a macroscopic reservoir plays a fundamental role in understanding the complex transition from the quantum to the classical world. Considering a harmonic environment, we use both intuitive arguments and numerical many-body quantum tomography to study the structure of the complete wavefunction arising in the strong-coupling regime, reached for intense qubit-environment interaction. The resulting strongly-correlated many-body ground state is built from quantum superpositions of adiabatic (polaron-like) and non-adiabatic (antipolaron-like) contributions from the bath of quantum oscillators. The emerging Schr\"odinger cat environmental wavefunctions can be described quantitatively via simple variational coherent states. In contrast to qubit-environment entanglement, we show that non-classicality and entanglement among the modes in the reservoir are crucial for the stabilization of qubit superpositions in regimes where standard theories predict an effectively classical spin.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Bera, S; Florens, S; Baranger, H; Roch, N; Nazir, A; Chin, A