Abstract:
We argue that in at least a portion of the history of the universe the relic background neutrinos are spatially-extended, coherent superpositions of mass states. We show that an appropriate quantum mechanical treatment affects the neutrino mass values derived from cosmological data. The coherence scale of these neutrino flavor wavepackets can be an appreciable fraction of the causal horizon size, raising the possibility of spacetime curvature-induced decoherence.

Abstract:
A general semiclassical approach to quantum systems with system-bath interactions is developed. We study system decoherence in detail using a coherent state semiclassical wavepacket method which avoids singularity issues arising in the usual Green's function approach. We discuss the general conditions under which it is approximately correct to discuss quantum decoherence in terms of a ``dephasing'' picture and we derive semiclassical expressions for the phase and phase distribution. Remarkably, an effective system wavefunction emerges whose norm measures the decoherence and is equivalent to a density matrix formulation.

Abstract:
The prospect of developing magnetic qubits is discussed. The first part of the article makes suggestions on how to achieve the coherent quantum superposition of spin states in small ferromagnetic clusters, weakly uncompensated antiferromagnetic clusters, and magnetic molecules. The second part of the article deals with mechanisms of decoherence expected in magnetic systems. Main decohering effects are coming from nuclear spins and magnetic fields. They can be reduced by isotopic purification and superconducting shielding. In that case the time reversal symmetry of spin Hamiltonians makes spin-phonon coupling ineffective in destroying quantum coherence.

Abstract:
We develop a "chain-boson model" master equation, within the Born-Markov approximation, for a few superconducting quantum interference devices (SQUIDs) coupled into a chain and exchanging their angular momenta with a low temperature phonon bath. Our master equation has four generators; we concentrate on the damping and diffusion and use them to study the relaxation and decoherence of a Heisenberg SQUID chain whose spectrum exhibits critical point energy-level crossings, entangled states, and pairs of resonant transitions. We note that at an energy-level crossing the relevant bath wavelengths are so long that even well-spaced large SQUIDs can partially exhibit collective coupling to the bath, dramatically reducing certain relaxation and decoherence rates. Also, transitions into entangled states can occur even in the case of an independent coupling of each SQUID to the bath. Finally, the pairs of resonant transitions can cause decaying oscillations to emerge in a lower energy subspace.

Abstract:
Inspired in the work of Erich Joos which appreciated the role played by matter in making the decoherence of the gravitational field, we developed an alternative way of treating the former problem. Besides this, we used the alternative approach to examine the decoherence of the electric field performed by the conduction electrons in metals. As a counterpoint, we studied the coherence of the electric color field inside nucleons, which renders the strong field a totally quantum character.

Abstract:
This paper investigates the dynamics of excitonic transport in photocomplex LHCII, the primary component of the photosynthetic apparatus in green plants. The dynamics exhibits a strong interplay between coherent processes mediated by the excitonic Hamiltonian, and incoherent processes due to interactions with the environment. The spreading of the exciton over a single monomer is well described by a proper measure of delocalization that allows one to identify two relevant time scales. An exciton initially localized in one chromophore first spreads coherently to neighboring chromophores. During this initial coherent spreading, quantum effects such as entanglement play a role. As the effects of a decohering environment come into play, coherence and decoherence interact to give rise to efficient and robust excitonic transport, reaching a maximum efficiency at the levels of decoherence found in physiological conditions. We analyze the efficiency for different possible topologies (monomer, dimer, trimer, tetramer) and show how the trimer has a particular role both in the antenna and the wire configuration.

Abstract:
We suggest a procedure for demonstrating quantum coherence and measuring decoherence times between different fluxoid states of a SQUID by using ``adiabatic inversion'', where one macroscopic fluxoid state is smoothly transferred into the other, like a spin reversing direction by following a slowly moving magnetic field. This is accomplished by sweeping an external applied flux, and depends on a well-defined quantum phase between the two macroscopic states. Varying the speed of the sweep relative to the decoherence time permits one to move from the quantum regime, where such a well-defined phase exists, to the classical regime where it is lost and the inversion is inhibited. Thus observing whether inversion has taken place or not as a function of sweep speed offers the possibility of measuring the decoherence time. The main requirement for the feasibility of the scheme appears to be that the low temperature relaxation time among the quantum levels of the SQUID be long compared to other time scales of the problem. Applications to the ``quantum computer'', with the level system of the SQUID playing the role of the qbit, are briefly discussed.

Abstract:
A procedure for demonstrating quantum coherence and measuring decoherence times between different fluxoid states of a SQUID by using ``adiabatic inversion'' is discussed. One fluxoid state is smoothly transferred into the other, like a spin reversing direction by following a slowly moving magnetic field. This is accomplished by sweeping an external applied flux, and depends on a well-defined quantum phase between the two macroscopic states. Varying the speed of the sweep relative to the decoherence time permits one to move from the quantum regime, where such a well-defined phase exists, to the classical regime where it is lost and the inversion is inhibited. Thus observing whether inversion has taken place or not as a function of sweep speed offers the possibility of measuring the decoherence time. Estimates with some typical SQUID parameters are presented and it appears that such a procedure should be experimentally possible. The main requirement for the feasibility of the scheme appears to be that the low temperature relaxation time among the quantum levels of the SQUID be long compared to other time scales of the problem, including the readout time. Applications to the ``quantum computer'', with the level system of the SQUID playing the role of the qbit, are briefly examined.

Abstract:
We present a quantum interference approach to preserve coherence in the external states of an atom trapped in an optical lattice. We show that this is possible by suitably choosing the initial state of the atom. We demonstrate this in context of decoherence due to spontaneous emission in an one-dimensional optical double-well lattice.

Abstract:
We analyze a system consisting of an oscillator coupled to a field. With the field traced out as an environment, the oscillator loses coherence on a very short {\it decoherence timescale}; but, on a much longer {\it relaxation timescale}, predictably evolves into a unique, pure (ground) state. This example of {\it re-coherence} has interesting implications both for the interpretation of quantum theory and for the loss of information during black hole evaporation. We examine these implications by investigating the intermediate and final states of the quantum field, treated as an open system coupled to an unobserved oscillator.