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We iteratively apply a recently formulated adiabatic theorem for the strong-coupling limit in finite-dimensional closed and open quantum systems. This allows us to improve approximations to a perturbed dynamics, beyond the standard approximation based on quantum Zeno dynamics and adiabatic elimination. The effective generators describing the approximate evolutions are endowed with the same block structure as the unperturbed part of the generator, and exhibit adiabatic evolutions. This iterative adiabatic theorem reveals that adiabaticity holds eternally, that is, the system evolves within each eigenspace of the unperturbed part of the generator, with an error bounded by O(1/γ) uniformly in time, where γ is the strength of the unperturbed part of the generator. We prove that the iterative adiabatic theorem reproduces Bloch's perturbation theory in the unitary case, and is therefore a full generalization to open systems. We furthermore prove the equivalence of the Schrieffer-Wolff and des Cloizeaux approaches in the unitary case and generalize both to arbitrary open systems, showing that they share the eternal adiabaticity, and providing explicit error bounds. Finally we discuss the physical structure of the effective adiabatic generators and show that ideal effective generators for open systems do not exist in general.
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