Quantum diffusion

Snapshots of modern mathematics from Oberwolfach

Quantum diffusion

If you place a drop of ink into a glass of water, the ink will slowly dissipate into the surrounding water until it is perfectly mixed. If you record your experiment with a camera and play the film backwards, you will see something that is never observed in the real world. Such diffusive and irreversible behaviour is ubiquitous in nature. Nevertheless, the fundamental equations that describe the motion of individual particles — Newton’s and Schrödinger’s equations — are reversible in time: a film depicting the motion of just a few particles looks as realistic when played forwards as when played backwards.
In this snapshot, we discuss how one may try to understand the origin of diffusion starting from the fundamental laws of quantum mechanics.

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Mathematical subjects

Probability Theory and Statistics

Connections to other fields



Antti Knowles
Senior Editor:
Carla Cederbaum
Junior Editor:
Sabiha Tokus


DOI (Digital Object Identifier)


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Mathematical subjects

Algebra and Number Theory
Didactics and Education
Discrete Mathematics and Foundations
Geometry and Topology
Numerics and Scientific Computing
Probability Theory and Statistics

Connections to other fields

Chemistry and Earth Science
Computer Science
Engineering and Technology
Humanities and Social Sciences
Life Science
Reflections on Mathematics

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