Coherent chemical kinetics as quantum walks. I. Reaction operators for radical pairs
Tan, K. C.
Date of Issue2016
School of Physical and Mathematical Sciences
Classical chemical kinetics uses rate-equation models to describe how a reaction proceeds in time. Such models are sufficient for describing state transitions in a reaction where coherences between different states do not arise, in other words, a reaction that contains only incoherent transitions. A prominent example of a reaction containing coherent transitions is the radical-pair model. The kinetics of such reactions is defined by the so-called reaction operator that determines the radical-pair state as a function of intermediate transition rates. We argue that the well-known concept of quantum walks from quantum information theory is a natural and apt framework for describing multisite chemical reactions. By composing Kraus maps that act only on two sites at a time, we show how the quantum-walk formalism can be applied to derive a reaction operator for the standard avian radical-pair reaction. Our reaction operator predicts the same recombination dephasing rate as the conventional Haberkorn model, which is consistent with recent experiments [K. Maeda et al., J. Chem. Phys. 139, 234309 (2013)], in contrast to previous work by Jones and Hore [J. A. Jones and P. J. Hore, Chem. Phys. Lett. 488, 90 (2010)]. The standard radical-pair reaction has conventionally been described by either a normalized density operator incorporating both the radical pair and reaction products or a trace-decreasing density operator that considers only the radical pair. We demonstrate a density operator that is both normalized and refers only to radical-pair states. Generalizations to include additional dephasing processes and an arbitrary number of sites are also discussed.
Physical Review E
© 2016 American Physical Society (APS). This paper was published in Physical Review E and is made available as an electronic reprint (preprint) with permission of American Physical Society (APS). The published version is available at: [http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevE.93.032407]. One print or electronic copy may be made for personal use only. Systematic or multiple reproduction, distribution to multiple locations via electronic or other means, duplication of any material in this paper for a fee or for commercial purposes, or modification of the content of the paper is prohibited and is subject to penalties under law.