Dynamic entanglement in oscillating molecules and potential biological implications

J Cai, S Popescu, HJ Briegel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

70 Citations (Scopus)


We demonstrate that entanglement can persistently recur in an oscillating two-spin molecule that is coupled to a hot and noisy environment, in which no static entanglement can survive. The system represents a nonequilibrium quantum system which, driven through the oscillatory motion, is prevented from reaching its (separable) thermal equilibrium state. Environmental noise, together with the driven motion, plays a constructive role by periodically resetting the system, even though it will destroy entanglement as usual. As a building block, the present simple mechanism supports the perspective that entanglement can exist also in systems which are exposed to a hot environment and to high levels of decoherence, which we expect, e.g., for biological systems. Our results also suggest that entanglement plays a role in the heat exchange between molecular machines and environment. Experimental simulation of our model with trapped ions is within reach of the current state-of-the-art quantum technologies.
Translated title of the contributionDynamic entanglement in oscillating molecules and potential biological implications
Original languageEnglish
Article number021921
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalPhysical Review E: Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2010

Bibliographical note

Publisher: The American Physical Society


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