Extractable work from correlations

Marti Perarnau-Llobet, Karen Hovhannisyan, Marcus Huber, Paul Skrzypczyk, Nicolas Brunner, Antonio Acin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

172 Citations (Scopus)
449 Downloads (Pure)


Work and quantum correlations are two fundamental resources in thermodynamics and quantum information theory. In this work we study how to use correlations among quantum systems to optimally store work. We analyse this question for isolated quantum ensembles, where the work can be naturally divided into two contributions: a local contribution from each system, and a global contribution originating from correlations among systems. We focus on the latter and consider quantum systems which are locally thermal, thus from which any extractable work can only come from correlations. We compute the maximum extractable work for general entangled states, separable states, and states with fixed entropy. Our results show that while entanglement gives an advantage for small quantum ensembles, this gain vanishes for a large number of systems.
Original languageEnglish
Article number041011
Number of pages14
JournalPhysical Review X
Publication statusPublished - 22 Oct 2015


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