Résumé : A density matrix evolution method [H. J. C. Berendsen and J. Mavri, J. Phys. Chem., 97, 13464 (1993)] to simulate the dynamics of quantum systems embedded in a classical environment is applied to study the inelastic collisions of a classical particle with a five-level quantum harmonic oscillator. We improved the numerical performance by rewriting the Liouville - von Neumann equation in the interaction representation and so eliminated the frequencies of the unperturbed oscillator. Furthermore, replacement of the fixed time step fourth-order Runge-Kutta integrator with an adaptive step size control fourth-order Runge-Kutta resulted in significantly lower computational effort at the same desired accuracy. © 1996 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.