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Thermodynamics of the Coarse-Graining Master Equation

Schaller, Gernot; Ablaßmayer, Julian

FG Computergestützte Materialphysik

We study the coarse-graining approach to derive a generator for the evolution of an open quantum system over a finite time interval. The approach does not require a secular approximation but nevertheless generally leads to a Lindblad–Gorini–Kossakowski–Sudarshan generator. By combining the formalism with full counting statistics, we can demonstrate a consistent thermodynamic framework, once the switching work required for the coupling and decoupling with the reservoir is included. Particularly, we can write the second law in standard form, with the only difference that heat currents must be defined with respect to the reservoir. We exemplify our findings with simple but pedagogical examples.