Extracting quantum work statistics and fluctuation theorems by single-qubit interferometry

R. Dorner*, S. R. Clark, L. Heaney, R. Fazio, J. Goold, V. Vedral

*Corresponding author for this work

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

195 Citations (Scopus)


We propose an experimental scheme to verify the quantum nonequilibrium fluctuation relations using current technology. Specifically, we show that the characteristic function of the work distribution for a nonequilibrium quench of a general quantum system can be extracted by Ramsey interferometry of a single probe qubit. Our scheme paves the way for the full characterization of nonequilibrium processes in a variety of quantum systems, ranging from single particles to many-body atomic systems and spin chains. We demonstrate our idea using a time-dependent quench of the motional state of a trapped ion, where the internal pseudospin provides a convenient probe qubit.

Original languageEnglish
Article number230601
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number23
Publication statusPublished - 7 Jun 2013


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