Non-Markovianity and negative entropy production rates

Philipp Strasberg, Massimiliano Esposito
2019 Physical review. E  
Entropy production plays a fundamental role in nonequilibrium thermodynamics to quantify the irreversibility of open systems. Its positivity can be ensured for a wide class of setups, but the entropy production rate can become negative sometimes. This is often taken as an indicator of non-Markovian dynamics. We make this link precise by showing under which conditions a negative entropy production rate implies non-Markovian dynamics and when it does not. This is established within a unified
more » ... age for two setups: (i) the dynamics resulting from a coarse-grained description of a system in contact with a single heat bath described by a Markovian master equation and (ii) the classical Hamiltonian dynamics of a driven system, which is coupled arbitrary strongly to a single heat bath. The quantum version of the latter result is shown not to hold despite the fact that the integrated thermodynamic description is formally equivalent to the classical case. The instantaneous steady state of a non-Markovian dynamics plays an important element in our study. Our key contribution is to provide a consistent theoretical framework to study the finite-time thermodynamics of a large class of dynamics with a precise link to its non-Markovianity.
doi:10.1103/physreve.99.012120 fatcat:pedhkipfcfelfnns4o3ns7cexi