Unitary work extraction from a generalized Gibbs ensemble using Bragg scattering
AbstractWe investigate work extraction from integrable quantum systems under unitary operations. As a model system, we consider noninteracting fermions in one dimension. Thanks to its integrability, this system does not thermalize after a perturbation, even though it does reach a steady state which can be described by a generalized Gibbs ensemble (GGE). Such a GGE has an excess free energy compared to a thermal state and we propose to extract this energy by applying Bragg pulses. We show how all the available work in the GGE can be extracted in the adiabatic limit while some excess energy is left at finite times. The unextracted work reaches the adiabatic limit as a power law with exponent z=−2 for small systems and with z=−1 in the thermodynamic limit. Two distinct protocols for combining the Bragg operations are compared, and in some systems an extensive difference in efficiency arises. From the unextracted work and the entropy production, a notion of temperature is defined and compared to the Boltzmann-Gibbs temperature of the system.