By making use of a recently proposed framework for the inference of thermodynamic irreversibility in bosonic quantum systems, we experimentally measure and characterize the entropy production rates in the nonequilibrium steady state of two different physical systems—a micromechanical resonator and a Bose-Einstein condensate—each coupled to a high finesse cavity and hence also subject to optical loss. Key features of our setups, such as the cooling of the mechanical resonator and signatures of a structural quantum phase transition in the condensate, are reflected in the entropy production rates. Our work demonstrates the possibility to explore irreversibility in driven mesoscopic quantum systems and paves the way to a systematic experimental assessment of entropy production beyond the microscopic limit.
Brunelli, M., Fusco, L., Landig, R., Wieczorek, W., Hoelscher-Obermaier, J., Landi, G., ... Paternostro, M. (2018). Experimental Determination of Irreversible Entropy Production in out-of-Equilibrium Mesoscopic Quantum Systems. Physical Review Letters, 121, . https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevLett.121.160604