We show that the physical mechanism for the equilibration of closed quantum systems is dephasing, and identify the energy scales that determine the equilibration timescale of a given observable. For realistic physical systems (e.g those with local Hamiltonians), our arguments imply timescales that do not increase with the system size, in contrast to previously known upper bounds. In particular, we show that, for such Hamiltonians, the matrix representation of local observables in the energy basis is banded, and that this property is crucial in order to derive equilibration times that are non-negligible in macroscopic systems. Finally, we give an intuitive interpretation to recent theorems on equilibration time-scales.
We derive general limitations concerning efficiency and power of heat engines strongly coupled to thermal baths. We build this framework on the insight that quantum systems strongly coupled to many-body systems will equilibrate to the reduced state of a global thermal state, deviating from the local thermal state of the system as it occurs in the weak-coupling limit. Taking this observation as the starting point of our analysis, we first provide strong-coupling corrections to the second law in three of its different readings: As a statement of maximal extractable work, on heat dissipation, and bound to the Carnot efficiency. The corrections identified become relevant for small quantum systems and always vanish in first order in the interaction strength. We then move to the question of power of heat engines, obtaining a bound on the power enhancement due to strong coupling. To exemplify our results, we discuss the implications on the paradigmatic situation of non-Markovian quantum Brownian motion.
Absolutely maximally entangled (AME) states are pure multi-partite generalizations of the bipartite maximally entangled states with the property that all reduced states of at most half the system size are in the maximally mixed state. AME states are of interest for multipartite teleportation and quantum secret sharing and have recently found new applications in the context of high-energy physics in toy models realizing the AdS/CFT-correspondence. We work out in detail the connection between AME states of minimal support and classical maximum distance separable (MDS) error correcting codes and, in particular, provide explicit closed form expressions for AME states of $n$ parties with local dimension $q$ a power of a prime for all $q \geq n-1$. Building on this, we construct a generalization of the Bell-basis consisting of AME states and develop a stabilizer formalism for AME states. For every $q \geq n-1$ prime we show how to construct QECCs that encode a logical qudit into a subspace spanned by AME states. Under a conjecture for which we provide numerical evidence, this construction produces an infinite family of quantum error correcting codes $[[n,1,n/2]]_q$ for $n$ even, saturating the quantum Singleton bound. We show that our conjecture is equivalent to the existence of an operator whose support cannot be decreased by multiplying it with stabilizer products and explicitly construct the codes up to $n=8$.
Thermodynamics is one of the most successful physical theories ever formulated. Though it was initially developed to deal with steam engines and, in particular, the problem of conversion of heat into mechanical work, it has prevailed even after the scientific revolutions of relativity and quantum mechanics. Despite its wide range of applicability, it is known that the laws of thermodynamics break down when systems are correlated with their environments. In the presence of correlations, anomalous heat flows from cold to hot baths become possible, as well as memory erasure accompanied by work extraction instead of heat dissipation. Here, we generalize thermodynamics to physical scenarios which allow presence of correlations, including those where strong correlations are present. We exploit the connection between information and physics, and introduce a consistent redefinition of heat dissipation by systematically accounting for the information flow from system to bath in terms of the conditional entropy. As a consequence, the formula for the Helmholtz free energy is accordingly modified. Such a remedy not only fixes the apparent violations of Landauer's erasure principle and the second law due to anomalous heat flows, but it also leads to a reformulation of the laws of thermodynamics that are universally respected. In this information-theoretic approach, correlations between system and environment store work potential. Thus, in this view, the apparent anomalous heat flows are the refrigeration processes driven by such potentials.
Recent years have seen an enormously revived interest in the study of thermodynamic notions in the quantum regime. This applies both to the study of notions of work extraction in thermal machines in the quantum regime, as well as to questions of equilibration and thermalisation of interacting quantum many-body systems as such. In this work we bring together these two lines of research by studying work extraction in a closed system that undergoes a sequence of quenches and equilibration steps concomitant with free evolutions. In this way, we incorporate an important insight from the study of the dynamics of quantum many body systems: the evolution of closed systems is expected to be well described, for relevant observables and most times, by a suitable equilibrium state. We will consider three kinds of equilibration, namely to (i) the time averaged state, (ii) the Gibbs ensemble and (iii) the generalised Gibbs ensemble (GGE), reflecting further constants of motion in integrable models. For each effective description, we investigate notions of entropy production, the validity of the minimal work principle and properties of optimal work extraction protocols. While we keep the discussion general, much room is dedicated to the discussion of paradigmatic non-interacting fermionic quantum many-body systems, for which we identify significant differences with respect to the role of the minimal work principle. Our work not only has implications for experiments with cold atoms, but also can be viewed as suggesting a mindset for quantum thermodynamics where the role of the external heat baths is instead played by the system itself, with its internal degrees of freedom bringing coarse-grained observables to equilibrium.
Absolutely Maximally Entangled (AME) states are those multipartite quantum states that carry absolute maximum entanglement in all possible partitions. AME states are known to play a relevant role in multipartite teleportation, in quantum secret sharing and they provide the basis novel tensor networks related to holography. We present alternative constructions of AME states and show their link with combinatorial designs. We also analyze a key property of AME, namely their relation to tensors that can be understood as unitary transformations in every of its bi-partitions. We call this property multi-unitarity.
In traditional thermodynamics, temperature is a local quantity: a subsystem of a large thermal system is in a thermal state at the same temperature as the original system. For strongly interacting systems, however, the locality of temperature breaks down. We study the possibility of associating an effective thermal state to subsystems of infinite chains of interacting spin particles of arbitrary finite dimension. We study the effect of correlations and criticality in the definition of this effective thermal state and discuss the possible implications for the classical simulation of thermal quantum systems.
This topical review article gives an overview of the interplay between quantum information theory and thermodynamics of quantum systems. We focus on several trending topics including the foundations of statistical mechanics, resource theories, entanglement in thermodynamic settings, fluctuation theorems and thermal machines. This is not a comprehensive review of the diverse field of quantum thermodynamics; rather, it is a convenient entry point for the thermo-curious information theorist. Furthermore this review should facilitate the unification and understanding of different interdisciplinary approaches emerging in research groups around the world.
The dynamics of quantum phase transitions poses one of the most challenging problems in modern many-body physics. Here, we study a prototypical example in a clean and well-controlled ultracold atom setup by observing the emergence of coherence when crossing the Mott insulator to superfluid quantum phase transition. In the one-dimensional Bose-Hubbard model, we find perfect agreement between experimental observations and numerical simulations for the resulting coherence length. We thereby perform a largely certified analogue quantum simulation of this strongly correlated system reaching beyond the regime of free quasiparticles. Experimentally, we additionally explore the emergence of coherence in higher dimensions where no classical simulations are available, as well as for negative temperatures. For intermediate quench velocities, we observe a power-law behaviour of the coherence length, reminiscent of the Kibble-Zurek mechanism. However, we find exponents that strongly depend on the final interaction strength and thus lie outside the scope of this mechanism.
How much work can be extracted from a heat bath using a thermal machine? The study of this question has a very long tradition in statistical physics in the weak-coupling limit, applied to macroscopic systems. However, the assumption that thermal heat baths remain uncorrelated with physical systems at hand is less reasonable on the nano-scale and in the quantum setting. In this work, we establish a framework of work extraction in the presence of quantum correlations. We show in a mathematically rigorous and quantitative fashion that quantum correlations and entanglement emerge as a limitation to work extraction compared to what would be allowed by the second law of thermodynamics. At the heart of the approach are operations that capture naturally non-equilibrium dynamics encountered when putting physical systems into contact with each other. We discuss various limits that relate to known results and put our work into context of approaches to finite-time quantum thermodynamics.
This work is concerned with thermal quantum states of Hamiltonians on spin and fermionic lattice systems with short range interactions. We provide results leading to a local definition of temperature, thereby extending the notion of "intensivity of temperature" to interacting quantum models. More precisely, we derive a perturbation formula for thermal states. The influence of the perturbation is exactly given in terms of a generalized covariance. For this covariance, we prove exponential clustering of correlations above a universal critical temperature that upper bounds physical critical temperatures such as the Curie temperature. As a corollary, we obtain that above the critical temperature, thermal states are stable against distant Hamiltonian perturbations. Moreover, our results imply that above the critical temperature, local expectation values can be approximated efficiently in the error and the system size.
In this paper we propose a framework for simulating thermal particle production in condensed matter systems. The procedure we describe can be realized by means of a quantum quench of a parameter in the model. In order to support this claim, we study quadratic fermionic systems in one and two dimensions by means of analytical and numerical techniques. In particular, we are able to show that a class of observables associated to Unruh--de Witt detectors are very relevant for this type of setup and that exhibit approximate thermalization.
We study the existence of absolutely maximally entangled (AME) states in quantum mechanics and its applications to quantum information. AME states are characterized by being maximally entangled for all bipartitions of the system and exhibit genuine multipartite entanglement. With such states, we present a novel parallel teleportation protocol which teleports multiple quantum states between groups of senders and receivers. The notable features of this protocol are that (i) the partition into senders and receivers can be chosen after the state has been distributed, and (ii) one group has to perform joint quantum operations while the parties of the other group only have to act locally on their system. We also prove the equivalence between pure state quantum secret sharing schemes and AME states with an even number of parties. This equivalence implies the existence of AME states for an arbitrary number of parties based on known results about the existence of quantum secret sharing schemes.
A Bose-Hubbard model on a dynamical lattice was introduced in previous work as a spin system analogue of emergent geometry and gravity. Graphs with regions of high connectivity in the lattice were identified as candidate analogues of spacetime geometries that contain trapped surfaces. We carry out a detailed study of these systems and show explicitly that the highly connected subgraphs trap matter. We do this by solving the model in the limit of no back-reaction of the matter on the lattice, and for states with certain symmetries that are natural for our problem. We find that in this case the problem reduces to a one-dimensional Hubbard model on a lattice with variable vertex degree and multiple edges between the same two vertices. In addition, we obtain a (discrete) differential equation for the evolution of the probability density of particles which is closed in the classical regime. This is a wave equation in which the vertex degree is related to the local speed of propagation of probability. This allows an interpretation of the probability density of particles similar to that in analogue gravity systems: matter inside this analogue system sees a curved spacetime. We verify our analytic results by numerical simulations. Finally, we analyze the dependence of localization on a gradual, rather than abrupt, fall-off of the vertex degree on the boundary of the highly connected region and find that matter is localized in and around that region.
In this work, we show how Gibbs or thermal states appear dynamically in closed quantum many-body systems, building on the program of dynamical typicality. We introduce a novel perturbation theorem for physically relevant weak system-bath couplings that is applicable even in the thermodynamic limit. We identify conditions under which thermalization happens and discuss the underlying physics. Based on these results, we also present a fully general quantum algorithm for preparing Gibbs states on a quantum computer with a certified runtime and error bound. This complements quantum Metropolis algorithms, which are expected to be efficient but have no known runtime estimates and only work for local Hamiltonians.
Entanglement entropy obeys area law scaling for typical physical quantum systems. This may naively be argued to follow from locality of interactions. We show that this is not the case by constructing an explicit simple spin chain Hamiltonian with nearest neighbor interactions that presents an entanglement volume scaling law. This non-translational model is contrived to have couplings that force the accumulation of singlet bonds across the half chain. Our result is complementary to the known relation between non-translational invariant, nearest neighbor interacting Hamiltonians and QMA complete problems.
We review some of the recent progress on the study of entropy of entanglement in many-body quantum systems. Emphasis is placed on the scaling properties of entropy for one-dimensional multi-partite models at quantum phase transitions and, more generally, on the concept of area law. We also briefly describe the relation between entanglement and the presence of impurities, the idea of particle entanglement, the evolution of entanglement along renormalization group trajectories, the dynamical evolution of entanglement and the fate of entanglement along a quantum computation.
We construct a quantum algorithm that creates the Laughlin state for an arbitrary number of particles $n$ in the case of filling fraction one. This quantum circuit is efficient since it only uses $n(n-1)/2$ local qudit gates and its depth scales as $2n-3$. We further prove the optimality of the circuit using permutation theory arguments and we compute exactly how entanglement develops along the action of each gate. Finally, we discuss its experimental feasibility decomposing the qudits and the gates in terms of qubits and two qubit-gates as well as the generalization to arbitrary filling fraction.
We review a number of ideas related to area law scaling of the geometric entropy from the point of view of condensed matter, quantum field theory and quantum information. An explicit computation in arbitrary dimensions of the geometric entropy of the ground state of a discretized scalar free field theory shows the expected area law result. In this case, area law scaling is a manifestation of a deeper reordering of the vacuum produced by majorization relations. Furthermore, the explicit control on all the eigenvalues of the reduced density matrix allows for a verification of entropy loss along the renormalization group trajectory driven by the mass term. A further result of our computation shows that single-copy entanglement also obeys area law scaling, majorization relations and decreases along renormalization group flows.