We discuss the significance and the calculation of dephasing at low temperatures. The particle is moving diffusively due to a static disorder configuration, while the interference between classical paths is suppressed due to the interaction with a dynamical environment. At high temperatures we may use the white-noise approximation, while at low temperatures we distinguish the contribution of zero-point fluctuations (ZPF) from the thermal noise contribution. We study the limitations of the above semiclassical approach and suggest the required modifications. In particular we find that the ZPF contribution becomes irrelevant for thermal motion.
- Received 6 January 1999
- Published in the issue dated 1 May 1999
© 1999 The American Physical Society