- Working Paper
The work content of non-equilibrium systems in relation to a heat bath is often analyzed in terms of expectation values of an underlying random work variable. However, we show that when optimizing the expectation value of the extracted work, the resulting extraction process is subject to intrinsic fluctuations. These fluctuations can be of the same order as the expected work content per se, in which case the extracted energy is unpredictable, thus intuitively more heat-like than work-like. This raises the question of the `truly' work-like energy that can extracted. Here we consider an alternative that corresponds to an essentially fluctuation-free extraction. We show that this quantity can be expressed in terms of a non-equilibrium generalization of the free energy, or equivalently in terms of a one-shot relative entropy measure introduced in information theory Show more
Pages / Article No.
Organisational unit03781 - Renner, Renato
NotesSubmitted 27 October 2011, Last revised 16 November 2011.
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