Markovian master equations: a critical study

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Ángel Rivas, A Douglas K Plato, Susana F Huelga and Martin B Plenio
New J. Phys. 12 113032 (2010)
DOI: 10.1088/1367-2630/12/11/113032

We derive Markovian master equations for single and interacting harmonic systems in different scenarios, including strong internal coupling. By comparing the dynamics resulting from the corresponding master equations with numerical simulations of the global system's evolution, we delimit their validity regimes and assess the robustness of the assumptions usually made in the process of deriving the reduced Markovian dynamics. The results of these illustrative examples serve to clarify the general properties of other open quantum system scenarios subject to treatment within a Markovian approximation.