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Thermodynamic uncertainty relations including measurement and feedback

  • Patrick P. Potts
  • Peter Samuelsson
Publishing year: 2019
Language: English
Publication/Series: Physical Review E
Volume: 100
Issue: 5
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: American Physical Society

Abstract english

Thermodynamic uncertainty relations quantify how the signal-to-noise ratio of a given observable is constrained by dissipation. Fluctuation relations generalize the second law of thermodynamics to stochastic processes. We show that any fluctuation relation directly implies a thermodynamic uncertainty relation, considerably increasing their range of applicability. In particular, we extend thermodynamic uncertainty relations to scenarios which include measurement and feedback. Since feedback generally breaks time-reversal invariance, the uncertainty relations involve quantities averaged over the forward and the backward experiment defined by the associated fluctuation relation. This implies that the signal-to-noise ratio of a given experiment can in principle become arbitrarily large as long as the corresponding backward experiment compensates, e.g., by being sufficiently noisy. We illustrate our results with the Szilard engine as well as work extraction by free energy reduction in a quantum dot.


  • Physical Sciences


  • ISSN: 2470-0045
Portrait of Patrick Potts
E-mail: patrick [dot] potts [at] teorfys [dot] lu [dot] se

Postdoctoral fellow

Mathematical Physics


Postdoctoral fellow