We study a class of ergodic quantum Markov semigroups on finite-dimensional unital C⁎-algebras. These semigroups have a unique stationary state σ, and we are concerned with those that satisfy a quantum detailed balance condition with respect to σ. We show that the evolution on the set of states that is given by such a quantum Markov semigroup is gradient flow for the relative entropy with respect to σ in a particular Riemannian metric on the set of states. This metric is a non-commutative analog of the 2-Wasserstein metric, and in several interesting cases we are able to show, in analogy with work of Otto on gradient flows with respect to the classical 2-Wasserstein metric, that the relative entropy is strictly and uniformly convex with respect to the Riemannian metric introduced here. As a consequence, we obtain a number of new inequalities for the decay of relative entropy for ergodic quantum Markov semigroups with detailed balance.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Detailed balance
- Gradient flow
- Quantum Markov semigroup