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Maxwell’s demon in the quantum-Zeno regime and beyond

Engelhardt, G.; Schaller, G.

FG Computergestützte Materialphysik

The long-standing paradigm of Maxwell’s demon is till nowadays a frequently investigated issue, which still provides interesting insights into basic physical questions. Considering a single-electron transistor, where we implement a Maxwell demon by a piecewise-constant feedback protocol, we investigate quantum implications of the Maxwell demon. To this end, we harness a dynamical coarse-graining method, which provides a convenient and accurate description of the system dynamics even for high measurement rates. In doing so, we are able to investigate the Maxwell demon in a quantum-Zeno regime leading to transport blockade. We argue that there is a measurement rate providing an optimal performance. Moreover, we find that besides building up a chemical gradient, there can be also a regime where the feedback loop additionally extracts energy, which results from the energy non-conserving character of the projective measurement.