Coherence distillation machines are impossible in quantum thermodynamics

Journal Article

AbstractThe role of coherence in quantum thermodynamics has been extensively studied in the recent years and it is now well-understood that coherence between different energy eigenstates is a resource independent of other thermodynamics resources, such as work. A fundamental remaining open question is whether the laws of quantum mechanics and thermodynamics allow the existence of a coherence distillation machine, i.e., a machine that, by possibly consuming work, obtains pure coherent states from mixed states, at a nonzero rate. This is related to another fundamental question: Starting from many copies of noisy quantum clocks which are (approximately) synchronized with a reference clock, can one distill synchronized clocks in pure states, at a non-zero rate? Surprisingly, we find that the answer to both questions is negative for generic (full-rank) mixed states. However, at the same time, it is possible to distill a sub-linear number of pure coherent states with a vanishing error.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Marvian, I

Published Date

  • December 2020

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 11 / 1


  • 25

Published By

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 2041-1723

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1038/s41467-019-13846-3


  • en