Local effective dynamics of quantum systems: A generalized approach to work and heat

@article{Weimer2008LocalED,
  title={Local effective dynamics of quantum systems: A generalized approach to work and heat},
  author={Hendrik Weimer and Markus J Henrich and Florian Rempp and H. Schr{\"o}der and Guenter Mahler},
  journal={EPL (Europhysics Letters)},
  year={2008},
  volume={83},
  pages={30008}
}
By computing the local energy expectation values with respect to some local measurement basis we show that for any quantum system there are two fundamentally different contributions: changes in energy that do not alter the local von Neumann entropy and changes that do. We identify the former as work and the latter as heat. Since our derivation makes no assumptions on the system Hamiltonian or its state, the result is valid even for states arbitrarily far from equilibrium. Examples are discussed… 

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