The Role of Initial Coherence in the Phase-Space Entropy Production Rate


The second law of thermodynamics can be expressed in terms of entropy production, which can be used to quantify the degree of irreversibility of a process. In this Chapter, we consider the standard scenario of open quantum systems, where a system irreversibly interacts with an external environment. We show that the standard approach, based on von Neumann entropy, can be replaced by a phase-space formulation of the problem. In particular, we focus on spin systems that can be described using the so-called spin coherent states. We deploy this formalism to study the interplay between the entropy production rate and the initial quantum coherence available to the system.

Mauro Paternostro
Mauro Paternostro
Full Professor