Irreversible processes without energy dissipation in an isolated Lipkin-Meshkov-Glick model Articles uri icon

publication date

  • July 2015

start page

  • 012101


  • 1


  • 92

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 2470-0045

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 2470-0053


  • For a certain class of isolated quantum systems, we report the existence of irreversible processes in which the energy is not dissipated. After a closed cycle in which the initial energy distribution is fully recovered, the expectation value of a symmetry-breaking observable changes from a value differing from zero in the initial state to zero in the final state. This entails the unavoidable loss of a certain amount of information and constitutes a source of irreversibility. We show that the von Neumann entropy of time-averaged equilibrium states increases in the same magnitude as a consequence of the process. We support this result by means of numerical calculations in an experimentally feasible system, the Lipkin-Meshkov-Glick model.