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Irreversible entropy production: From classical to quantum
Reviews of Modern Physics  (IF50.485),  Pub Date : 2021-09-24, DOI: 10.1103/revmodphys.93.035008
Gabriel T. Landi, Mauro Paternostro

Entropy production is a key quantity in any finite-time thermodynamic process. It is intimately tied with the fundamental laws of thermodynamics, embodying a tool to extend thermodynamic considerations all the way to nonequilibrium processes. It is also often used in attempts to provide the quantitative characterization of logical and thermodynamic irreversibility, stemming from processes in physics, chemistry, and biology. Notwithstanding its fundamental character, a unifying theory of entropy production valid for general processes, both classical and quantum, has not yet been formulated. Developments pivoting around the frameworks of stochastic thermodynamics, open quantum systems, and quantum information theory have led to substantial progress in such endeavors. This has culminated in the unlocking of a new generation of experiments able to address stochastic thermodynamic processes and the impact of entropy production on them. This review aims to provide a compendium on the current framework for the description, assessment, and manipulation of entropy production. Formal aspects of its formulation and the implications stemming from the potential quantum nature of a given process, including a detailed survey of recent experiments, are both presented.