- Working Paper
Thermodynamics is a highly successful macroscopic theory widely used across the natural sciences and for the construction of everyday devices, from car engines and fridges to power plants and solar cells. With thermodynamics predating quantum theory, research now aims to uncover the thermodynamic laws that govern finite size systems which may in addition host quantum effects. Here we identify information processing tasks, the so-called "projections", that can only be formulated within the framework of quantum mechanics. We show that the physical realisation of such projections can come with a non-trivial thermodynamic work only for quantum states with coherences. This contrasts with information erasure, first investigated by Landauer, for which a thermodynamic work cost applies for classical and quantum erasure alike. Implications are far-reaching, adding a thermodynamic dimension to measurements performed in quantum thermodynamics experiments, and providing key input for the construction of a future quantum thermodynamic framework. Repercussions are discussed for quantum work fluctuation relations and thermodynamic single-shot approaches Show more
Journal / seriesarXiv
Pages / Article No.
Organisational unit03781 - Renner, Renato
NotesSubmitted on 9 February 2015, Last revised 18 September 2015.
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