© 2015 American Physical Society. Passive states are defined as those states that do not allow for work extraction in a cyclic (unitary) process. Within the set of passive states, thermal states are the most stable ones: they maximize the entropy for a given energy, and similarly they minimize the energy for a given entropy. Here we find the passive states lying in the other extreme, i.e., those that maximize the energy for a given entropy, which we show also minimize the entropy when the energy is fixed. These extremal properties make these states useful to obtain fundamental bounds for the thermodynamics of finite-dimensional quantum systems, which we show in several scenarios.
|Physical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics
|Published - 22 Oct 2015