Quantum thermodynamics of general quantum processes

Felix C Binder, Sai Vinjanampathy, Kavan Modi, John Goold

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

58 Citations (Scopus)


Accurately describing work extraction from a quantum system is a central objective for the extension of thermodynamics to individual quantum systems. The concepts of work and heat are surprisingly subtle when generalizations are made to arbitrary quantum states. We formulate an operational thermodynamics suitable for application to an open quantum system undergoing quantum evolution under a general quantum process by which we mean a completely positive and trace-preserving map. We derive an operational first law of thermodynamics for such processes and show consistency with the second law. We show that heat, from the first law, is positive when the input state of the map majorizes the output state. Moreover, the change in entropy is also positive for the same majorization condition. This makes a strong connection between the two operational laws of thermodynamics
Original languageEnglish
Article number032119
Pages (from-to)1-6
Number of pages6
JournalPhysical Review E
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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