In closed systems, the dynamical equation is the Schrödinger equation, for which the principle of superposition holds.

In open quantum systems, does the principle of superposition hold?

  • $\begingroup$ Maybe this is obvious to people who have studied the topic more than I, but what differentiates an open quantum system from a closed one? My first instinct is that your definition of open will either trivially prove superposition does not hold by invoking a behavior at the border that isn't in line with Schrodinger's equation, or will trivially prove it holds by letting the system reduce to something that is in line. $\endgroup$ – Cort Ammon - Reinstate Monica Nov 4 '19 at 21:09

I looked up "open quantum systems", because I could not understand how a quantum system could be "open" as it needs the boundary conditions to define the wavefunction.

In physics, an open quantum system is a quantum-mechanical system which interacts with an external quantum system, the environment or bath

As the "open" boundary is a quantum system the answer is yes, superposition holds, as with all quantum systems.


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