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Assessing non-Markovian dynamics

M.M. Wolf, J. Eisert, T.S. Cubitt, J.I. Cirac

Phys. Rev. Lett. 101, 150402 **, (2008)

DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.101.150402 Pfeil
*arXiv.org*: 0711.3172 Pfeil

Abstract: We investigate what a snapshot of a quantum evolution - a quantum channel reflecting open system dynamics - reveals about the underlying continuous time evolution. Remarkably, from such a snapshot, and without imposing additional assumptions, it can be decided whether or not a channel is consistent with a time (in)dependent Markovian evolution, for which we provide computable necessary and sufficient criteria. Based on these, a computable measure of `Markovianity' is introduced. We discuss how the consistency with Markovian dynamics can be checked in quantum process tomography. The results also clarify the geometry of the set of quantum channels with respect to being solutions of time (in)dependent master equations.