Document Type


Date of Degree

Spring 2013

Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Degree In


First Advisor

Paul S. Muhly


Semigroups of completely positive maps arise naturally both in noncommutative stochastic processes and in the dynamics of open quantum systems. Since its inception in the 1970's, the study of completely positive semigroups has included among its central topics the dilation of a completely positive semigroup to an endomorphism semigroup. In quantum dynamics, this amounts to embedding a given open system inside some closed system, while in noncommutative probability, it corresponds to the construction of a Markov process from its transition probabilities. In addition to the existence of dilations, one is interested in what properties of the original semigroup (unitality, various kinds of continuity) are preserved.

Several authors have proved the existence of dilations, but in general, the dilation achieved has been non-unital; that is, the unit of the original algebra is embedded as a proper projection in the dilation algebra. A unique approach due to Jean-Luc Sauvageot overcomes this problem, but leaves unclear the continuity of the dilation semigroup. The major purpose of this thesis, therefore, is to further develop Sauvageot's theory in order to prove the existence of continuous unital dilations. This existence is proved in Theorem 6.4.9, the central result of the thesis.

The dilation depends on a modification of free probability theory, and in particular on a combinatorial property akin to free independence. This property is implicit in some Sauvageot's original calculations, but a secondary goal of this thesis is to present it as its own object of study, which we do in chapter 3.


Completely Positive Semigroups, Dilation, Free Probability, Open Quantum Systems


vii, 158 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 153-158).


Copyright 2013 David Gaebler

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Mathematics Commons