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Thermodynamics of quantum systems with multiple conserved quantities

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Article number12049
Number of pages9
JournalNature Communications
Volume7
DOIs
DateAccepted/In press - 23 May 2016
DatePublished (current) - 7 Jul 2016

Abstract

Recently there has been much progress in understanding the thermodynamics of quantum systems, even for small individual systems. Most of this work has focused on the standard case where energy is the only conserved quantity. In this work we consider a generalisation of this work to deal with multiple conserved quantities. Each conserved quantity, which, importantly, need not commute with the rest, can be extracted and stored in its own battery. Unlike the standard case, in which the amount of extractable energy is constrained, here there is no limit on how much of any individual conserved quantity can be extracted. However, other conserved quantities must be supplied, and the second law constrains the combination of extractable quantities and the trade-offs between them which are allowed. We present explicit protocols which allow us to perform arbitrarily good trade-offs and extract arbitrarily good combinations of conserved quantities from individual quantum systems.

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