Enhanced Photonic Maxwell’s Demon with Correlated Baths

Guilherme L. Zanin, Michael Antesberger, Maxime J. Jacquet, Paulo H. Souto Ribeiro, Lee A. Rozema, Philip Walther

Publications: Contribution to journalArticlePeer Reviewed


Maxwell’s Demon is at the heart of the interrelation between quantum information processing and thermodynamics. In this thought experiment, a demon generates a temperature gradient between two thermal baths initially at equilibrium by gaining information at the single-particle level and applying classical feed-forward operations, allowing for the extraction of work. Here we implement a photonic version of Maxwell’s Demon with active feed-forward in a fibre-based system using ultrafast optical switches. We experimentally show that, if correlations exist between the two thermal baths, the Demon can generate a temperature difference over an order of magnitude larger than without correlations, and so extract more work. Our work demonstrates the great potential of photonic experiments – which provide a unique degree of control on the system – to access new regimes in quantum thermodynamics.

Original languageEnglish
Article number810
Number of pages25
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2022

Austrian Fields of Science 2012

  • 103025 Quantum mechanics
  • 103026 Quantum optics

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