Continuous thermomajorization and a complete set of laws for Markovian thermal processes

Matteo Lostaglio, Kamil Korzekwa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
19 Downloads (Pure)


The standard dynamical approach to quantum thermodynamics is based on Markovian master equations describing the thermalization of a system weakly coupled to a large environment, and on tools such as entropy production relations. Here we develop a framework overcoming the limitations that the current dynamical and information theory approaches encounter when applied to this setting. More precisely, we introduce the notion of continuous thermomajorization and employ it to obtain necessary and sufficient conditions for the existence of a Markovian thermal process transforming between given initial and final energy distributions of the system. These lead to a complete set of generalized entropy production inequalities including the standard one as a special case. Importantly, these conditions can be reduced to a finitely verifiable set of constraints governing nonequilibrium transformations under master equations. What is more, the framework is also constructive, i.e., it returns explicit protocols realizing any allowed transformation. These protocols use as building blocks elementary thermalizations, which we prove to be universal controls. Finally, we also present an algorithm constructing the full set of energy distributions achievable from a given initial state via Markovian thermal processes and provide a Mathematica implementation solving d=6 on a laptop computer in minutes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number012426
Number of pages18
JournalPhysical Review A
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2022


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