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Title: Non-hermitian quantum thermodynamics

Thermodynamics is the phenomenological theory of heat and work. Here we analyze to what extent quantum thermodynamic relations are immune to the underlying mathematical formulation of quantum mechanics. As a main result, we show that the Jarzynski equality holds true for all non-hermitian quantum systems with real spectrum. This equality expresses the second law of thermodynamics for isothermal processes arbitrarily far from equilibrium. In the quasistatic limit however, the second law leads to the Carnot bound which is fulfilled even if some eigenenergies are complex provided they appear in conjugate pairs. Lastly, we propose two setups to test our predictions, namely with strongly interacting excitons and photons in a semiconductor microcavity and in the non-hermitian tight-binding model.
Authors:
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [2]
  1. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States); Univ. of Silesia, Katowice (Poland)
  2. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
1255150
Report Number(s):
LA-UR--15-29023
Journal ID: ISSN 2045-2322; srep23408
Grant/Contract Number:
AC52-06NA25396
Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Scientific Reports
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 6; Journal ID: ISSN 2045-2322
Publisher:
Nature Publishing Group
Research Org:
Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
74 ATOMIC AND MOLECULAR PHYSICS Jarzynski equality; Carnot bound; quantum mechanics; theoretical physics; thermodynamics