Jarzynski Equality in PT-Symmetric Quantum Mechanics

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Citation of Original Publication

Sebastian Deffner and Avadh Saxena, Jarzynski Equality in PT-Symmetric Quantum Mechanics, Phys. Rev. Lett. 114(15) (2015), DOI:https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevLett.114.150601


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We show that the quantum Jarzynski equality generalizes to PT-symmetric quantum mechanics with unbroken PT symmetry. In the regime of broken PT symmetry, the Jarzynski equality does not hold as also the CPT norm is not preserved during the dynamics. These findings are illustrated for an experimentally relevant system—two coupled optical waveguides. It turns out that for these systems the phase transition between the regimes of unbroken and broken PT symmetry is thermodynamically inhibited as the irreversible work diverges at the critical point.