Fluctuations in a kinetic transport model for quantum friction

Roland Bauerschmidt, Wojciech De Roeck, Jürg Fröhlich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We study a linear Boltzmann equation describing the effective dynamics of a quantum particle moving through an ideal Bose gas at zero temperature. The particle emits sound waves into the Bose gas, a process causing it to slow down. This mechanism for friction is akin to one exhibited by a charged particle travelling through an optically dense medium at a speed larger than the speed of light and hence emitting Čerenkov radiation. We study the spatial trajectory of the Markov process corresponding to the Boltzmann equation and prove that this process converges to a multiple of Brownian motion after an exponential rescaling of time. We also show that the asymptotic position of the particle remains finite on average, but that its absolute value diverges logarithmically. Our unusual exponential rescaling of time is appropriate for a description of friction at zero temperature and is distinct from diffusive scaling appropriate at positive temperature. It is also shown that if random fluctuations of the particle position were neglected the latter would turn out to diverge.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number275003
JournalJournal of Physics A: Mathematical and Theoretical
Issue number27
StatePublished - 2014


  • fluctuations
  • friction
  • linear Boltzmann equation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Statistics and Probability
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Mathematical Physics
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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