Extractable work from correlations

Martí Perarnau-Llobet, Karen V. Hovhannisyan, Marcus Huber, Paul Skrzypczyk, Nicolas Brunner, Antonio Acín

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

137 Citations (Scopus)


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 analyze 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 that 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
JournalPhysical Review X
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015


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