Title:Quantum Journal Club: Description of quantum coherence in thermodynamic processes requires constraints beyond free energy
Speaker: Pei Zeng Tsinghua University
Time: 2016-12-15 16:00-2016-12-15 17:00


Recent studies have developed fundamental limitations on nanoscale thermodynamics, in terms of a set of independent free energy relations. Here we show that free energy relations cannot properly describe quantum coherence in thermodynamic processes. By casting timeasymmetry as a quantifiable, fundamental resource of a quantum state, we arrive at an additional, independent set of thermodynamic constraints that naturally extend the existing ones. These asymmetry relations reveal that the traditional Szila´rd engine argument does not extend automatically to quantum coherences, but instead only relational coherences in a multipartite scenario can contribute to thermodynamic work. We find that coherence transformations are always irreversible. Our results also reveal additional structural parallels between thermodynamics and the theory of entanglement.