Master Equations in Phase-Space Formulation of Quantum Optics Academic Article uri icon


  • Using the recently discussed quantum dynamics in phase space, we derive a master equation, starting from the phase-space equivalent to the Schrdinger equation of motion for the density operator. Use is made of Zwanzig's projection-operator techniques and some explicit realizations of the projection operators are given. The master equation is then applied to show that the time-correlation functions, as defined in the text, satisfy an integral equation of the Volterra type. Next, a master equation for a system interacting with a large system is derived. As an illustration, we determine the lowest-order Born approximation and carry out a short-memory-approximation calculation for an oscillator coupled to a reservoir and for a two-level system interacting with an oscillator heat bath; we obtain equations of the Fokker-Planck type. Some physical implications of these equations are also discussed. 1969 The American Physical Society.

published proceedings

  • Physical Review

author list (cited authors)

  • AGARWAL, G. S.

citation count

  • 85

complete list of authors


publication date

  • February 1969