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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/16727

Title: Quantum-Classical Master Equation Dynamics: An Analysis of Decoherence and Surface-hopping Techniques
Authors: Grunwald, Robbie
Advisor: Kapral, Raymond E.
Department: Chemistry
Keywords: Quantum-classical molecular dynamics
surface-hopping schemes
nonadiabatic dynamics
Issue Date: 19-Jan-2009
Abstract: In this thesis quantum-classical dynamics is applied to the study of quantum condensed phase processes. This approach is based on the quantum-classical Liouville equation where the dynamics of a small subset of the degrees of freedom are treated quantum mechanically while the remaining degrees of freedom are treated by classical mechanics to a good approximation. We use this approach as it is computationally tractable, and the resulting equation of motion accurately accounts for the quantum and classical dynamics, as well as the coupling between these two components of the system. By recasting the quantum-classical Liouville equation into the form of a generalized master equation we investigate connections to surface-hopping. The link between these approaches is decoherence arising from interaction of the subsystem with the environment. We derive an evolution equation for the subsystem which contains terms accounting for the effects of the environment. One of these terms involves a memory kernel that accounts for the coherent dynamics. If this term decays rapidly, a Markovian approximation can be made. By lifting the resulting subsystem master equation into the full phase space, we obtain a Markovian master equation that prescribes surface-hopping-like dynamics. Our analysis outlines the conditions under which such a description is valid. Next, we consider the calculation of the rate constant for a quantum mechanical barrier crossing process. Starting from the reactive-flux autocorrelation function, we derive a quantum-classical expression for the rate kernel. This expression involves quantum-classical evolution of a species operator averaged over the initial quantum equilibrium structure of the system making it possible to compute the rate constant via computer simulation. Using a simple model for a proton transfer reaction we compare the results of the rate calculation obtained by quantum-classical Liouville dynamics with that of master equation dynamics. The master equation provides a good approximation to the full quantum-classical Liouville calculation for our model and a more stable algorithm results due to the elimination of oscillating phase factors in the simulation. Finally, we make use of the theoretical framework established in this thesis to analyze some aspects of decoherence used in popular surface-hopping techniques.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/16727
Appears in Collections:Doctoral
Department of Chemistry - Doctoral theses

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