Stochastic Dynamics of Quantum-Mechanical Systems

Phys. Rev. 121, 920 – Published 1 February 1961
E. C. G. Sudarshan, P. M. Mathews, and Jayaseetha Rau


The most general dynamical law for a quantum mechanical system with a finite number of levels is formulated. A fundamental role is played by the so-called "dynamical matrix" whose properties are stated in a sequence of theorems. A necessary and sufficient criterion for distinguishing dynamical matrices corresponding to a Hamiltonian time-dependence is formulated. The non-Hamiltonian case is discussed in detail and the application to paramagnetic relaxation is outlined.


  • Received 15 August 1960
  • Published in the issue dated February 1961

© 1961 The American Physical Society

Authors & Affiliations

E. C. G. Sudarshan*

  • Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Rochester, New York

P. M. Mathews

  • Department of Physics, University of Madras, Madras, India

Jayaseetha Rau

  • Department of Physics, Brandeis University, Waltham, Massachusetts

  • *Supported in part by the U. S. Atomic Energy Commission.
  • Supported in part by the U. S. Air Force Cambridge Research Center.

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