03-440 W.De Roeck, C.Maes
A quantum version of free energy - irreversible work relations (39K, LaTeX2e) Sep 23, 03
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Abstract. We give a quantum version of the Jarzynski relation between the distribution of work done over a certain time-interval on a system and the difference of equilibrium free energies. The main new ingredient is the identification of work depending on the quantum history of the system and the proper definition of various quantum ensembles over which the averages should be made. We also discuss a number of different regimes that have been considered by other authors and which are unified in the present set-up. In all cases, and quantum or classical, it is a general relation between heat and time-reversal that makes the Jarzynski relation so universally valid.

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