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Special Issue "Fluctuation Relations and Nonequilibrium Thermodynamics in Classical and Quantum Systems"

A special issue of Entropy (ISSN 1099-4300).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2019.

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Gabriele De Chiara

Centre for Theoretical Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics, Queen's University Belfast, Belfast, BT7 1NN, UK
Website | E-Mail
Interests: quantum technologies; correlations and out-of-equilibrium thermodynamics of many-body systems

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The recent advances in the control of microscopic systems down to the atomic level have triggered a renewed interest in the study of the thermodynamic processes of small systems. As these are characterised by strong fluctuations of thermal and quantum origins, thermodynamic quantities like heat, work, and entropy become stochastic variables. Fluctuation theorems, including the most celebrated Jarzynski relation, connect exponential averages of these quantities, even for out-of-equilibrium processes, with equilibrium observables like free energy differences.

On the one hand, in the classical stochastic thermodynamic setting, fluctuation theorems are well established and experimentally verified under appropriate conditions (e.g., initial equilibrium and weak coupling). However, in recent years, these assumptions have been challenged and new fluctuations have been discovered. On the other hand, fluctuation theorems in the quantum domain have been studied quite recently. According to the so-called two-time measurement definition of work, the quantum Jarzynski relation has been verified in experiments with nuclear magnetic resonance and trapped ion setups. However, the very definition of work is still under active debate, since it is known that the two-time measurement protocol leads to inconsistencies with the laws of thermodynamics. Moreover, for open quantum systems, approaches based on quantum trajectories have been put forward in the last few years.

Further recent investigations include the design and realisation of quantum thermal engines and refrigerators with the ambitious goal of understanding whether a quantum advantage, due to genuine quantum correlations or coherence, is possible in such devices. Insights from quantum information theory are helping to formalise quantum thermodynamics as a resource theory.

The areas covered in this Special Issue include but are not restricted to:

*) Fluctuation relations in classical stochastic thermodynamics

*) Definitions of work, heat, and entropy and related fluctuation theorems in quantum systems

*) Quantum engines and refrigerators

*) Resource theory of quantum thermodynamics

*) Role of quantum correlations and coherence in quantum thermodynamics

Dr. Gabriele De Chiara
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Entropy is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • quantum thermodynamics
  • out-of-equilibrium thermodynamics
  • fluctuation theorems
  • work, heat, and entropy
  • quantum engines
  • open quantum systems
  • quantum resource theories

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Daemonic Ergotropy: Generalised Measurements and Multipartite Settings
Entropy 2019, 21(8), 771; https://doi.org/10.3390/e21080771
Received: 6 July 2019 / Revised: 31 July 2019 / Accepted: 3 August 2019 / Published: 7 August 2019
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Abstract
Recently, the concept of daemonic ergotropy has been introduced to quantify the maximum energy that can be obtained from a quantum system through an ancilla-assisted work extraction protocol based on information gain via projective measurements [G. Francica et al., npj Quant. Inf. 3 [...] Read more.
Recently, the concept of daemonic ergotropy has been introduced to quantify the maximum energy that can be obtained from a quantum system through an ancilla-assisted work extraction protocol based on information gain via projective measurements [G. Francica et al., npj Quant. Inf. 3, 12 (2018)]. We prove that quantum correlations are not advantageous over classical correlations if projective measurements are considered. We go beyond the limitations of the original definition to include generalised measurements and provide an example in which this allows for a higher daemonic ergotropy. Moreover, we propose a see-saw algorithm to find a measurement that attains the maximum work extraction. Finally, we provide a multipartite generalisation of daemonic ergotropy that pinpoints the influence of multipartite quantum correlations, and study it for multipartite entangled and classical states. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Non-Thermal Quantum Engine in Transmon Qubits
Entropy 2019, 21(6), 545; https://doi.org/10.3390/e21060545
Received: 8 May 2019 / Revised: 24 May 2019 / Accepted: 27 May 2019 / Published: 29 May 2019
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (2231 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The design and implementation of quantum technologies necessitates the understanding of thermodynamic processes in the quantum domain. In stark contrast to macroscopic thermodynamics, at the quantum scale processes generically operate far from equilibrium and are governed by fluctuations. Thus, experimental insight and empirical [...] Read more.
The design and implementation of quantum technologies necessitates the understanding of thermodynamic processes in the quantum domain. In stark contrast to macroscopic thermodynamics, at the quantum scale processes generically operate far from equilibrium and are governed by fluctuations. Thus, experimental insight and empirical findings are indispensable in developing a comprehensive framework. To this end, we theoretically propose an experimentally realistic quantum engine that uses transmon qubits as working substance. We solve the dynamics analytically and calculate its efficiency. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Magnetic Otto Engine for an Electron in a Quantum Dot: Classical and Quantum Approach
Entropy 2019, 21(5), 512; https://doi.org/10.3390/e21050512
Received: 7 January 2019 / Revised: 22 February 2019 / Accepted: 1 March 2019 / Published: 20 May 2019
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (7438 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
We studied the performance of classical and quantum magnetic Otto cycle with a working substance composed of a single quantum dot using the Fock–Darwin model with the inclusion of the Zeeman interaction. Modulating an external/perpendicular magnetic field, in the classical approach, we found [...] Read more.
We studied the performance of classical and quantum magnetic Otto cycle with a working substance composed of a single quantum dot using the Fock–Darwin model with the inclusion of the Zeeman interaction. Modulating an external/perpendicular magnetic field, in the classical approach, we found an oscillating behavior in the total work extracted that was not present in the quantum formulation.We found that, in the classical approach, the engine yielded a greater performance in terms of total work extracted and efficiency than when compared with the quantum approach. This is because, in the classical case, the working substance can be in thermal equilibrium at each point of the cycle, which maximizes the energy extracted in the adiabatic strokes. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Probability Distributions with Singularities
Entropy 2019, 21(3), 312; https://doi.org/10.3390/e21030312
Received: 28 February 2019 / Revised: 19 March 2019 / Accepted: 20 March 2019 / Published: 21 March 2019
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (1090 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this paper we review some general properties of probability distributions which exhibit a singular behavior. After introducing the matter with several examples based on various models of statistical mechanics, we discuss, with the help of such paradigms, the underlying mathematical mechanism producing [...] Read more.
In this paper we review some general properties of probability distributions which exhibit a singular behavior. After introducing the matter with several examples based on various models of statistical mechanics, we discuss, with the help of such paradigms, the underlying mathematical mechanism producing the singularity and other topics such as the condensation of fluctuations, the relationships with ordinary phase-transitions, the giant response associated to anomalous fluctuations, and the interplay with fluctuation relations. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Efficiency of Harmonic Quantum Otto Engines at Maximal Power
Entropy 2018, 20(11), 875; https://doi.org/10.3390/e20110875
Received: 24 October 2018 / Revised: 10 November 2018 / Accepted: 13 November 2018 / Published: 15 November 2018
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (1134 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Recent experimental breakthroughs produced the first nano heat engines that have the potential to harness quantum resources. An instrumental question is how their performance measures up against the efficiency of classical engines. For single ion engines undergoing quantum Otto cycles it has been [...] Read more.
Recent experimental breakthroughs produced the first nano heat engines that have the potential to harness quantum resources. An instrumental question is how their performance measures up against the efficiency of classical engines. For single ion engines undergoing quantum Otto cycles it has been found that the efficiency at maximal power is given by the Curzon–Ahlborn efficiency. This is rather remarkable as the Curzon–Alhbron efficiency was originally derived for endoreversible Carnot cycles. Here, we analyze two examples of endoreversible Otto engines within the same conceptual framework as Curzon and Ahlborn’s original treatment. We find that for endoreversible Otto cycles in classical harmonic oscillators the efficiency at maximal power is, indeed, given by the Curzon–Ahlborn efficiency. However, we also find that the efficiency of Otto engines made of quantum harmonic oscillators is significantly larger. Full article
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