Nonequilibrium quantum impurities: From entropy production to information theory

Pankaj Mehta, Natan Andrei

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Nonequilibrium steady-state currents, unlike their equilibrium counterparts, continuously dissipate energy into their physical surroundings leading to entropy production and time-reversal symmetry breaking. This Letter discusses these issues in the context of quantum impurity models. We use simple thermodynamic arguments to define the rate of entropy production Ï and show that Ï has a simple information-theoretic interpretation in terms of nonequilibrium distribution functions. This allows us to show that the entropy production is strictly positive for any nonequilibrium steady state. We conclude by applying these ideas to the resonance level model and the Kondo model.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number086804
JournalPhysical review letters
Issue number8
StatePublished - Feb 26 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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