Einstein's kinetic theory of the Brownian motion, based upon light water molecules continuously bombarding a heavy pollen, provided an explanation of diffusion from the Newtonian mechanics. Since the discovery of quantum mechanics it has been a challenge to verify the emergence of diffusion from the Schr\"odinger equation.
The first step in this program is to verify the linear Boltzmann equation as a certain scaling limit of a Schr\"odinger equation with random potential. In the second step, one considers a longer time scale that corresponds to infinitely many Boltzmann collisions. The intuition is that the Boltzmann equation then converges to a diffusive equation similarly to the central limit theorem for Markov processes with sufficient mixing. In these lecture notes (prepared for the Les Houches summer school in 2010 August) we present the mathematical tools to rigorously justify this intuition. The new material relies on joint papers with H.-T. Yau and M. Salmhofer. |