Thermodynamics relies on the possibility to describe systems composed of a large number of constituents in terms of few macroscopic variables. Its foundations are rooted into the paradigm of statistical mechanics, where thermal properties originate from averaging procedures which smoothen out local details. While undoubtedly successful, elegant and formally correct, this approach carries over an operational problem, namely determining the precision at which such variables are inferred, when technical/practical limitations restrict our capabilities to local probing. Here we introduce the local quantum thermal susceptibility, a quantifier for the best achievable accuracy for temperature estimation via local measurements. Our method relies on basic concepts of quantum estimation theory, providing an operative strategy to address the local thermal response of arbitrary quantum systems at equilibrium. At low temperatures, it highlights the local distinguishability of the ground state from the excited sub-manifolds, thus providing a method to locate quantum phase transitions.

Local quantum thermal susceptibility

DE PASQUALE, ANTONELLA;ROSSINI, DAVIDE;FAZIO, ROSARIO;GIOVANNETTI, VITTORIO
2016

Abstract

Thermodynamics relies on the possibility to describe systems composed of a large number of constituents in terms of few macroscopic variables. Its foundations are rooted into the paradigm of statistical mechanics, where thermal properties originate from averaging procedures which smoothen out local details. While undoubtedly successful, elegant and formally correct, this approach carries over an operational problem, namely determining the precision at which such variables are inferred, when technical/practical limitations restrict our capabilities to local probing. Here we introduce the local quantum thermal susceptibility, a quantifier for the best achievable accuracy for temperature estimation via local measurements. Our method relies on basic concepts of quantum estimation theory, providing an operative strategy to address the local thermal response of arbitrary quantum systems at equilibrium. At low temperatures, it highlights the local distinguishability of the ground state from the excited sub-manifolds, thus providing a method to locate quantum phase transitions.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11384/63718
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