Measuring work and heat in ultracold quantum gases

Gabriele De Chiara, Augusto J. Roncaglia, Juan Pablo Paz

Research output: Contribution to journalSpecial issuepeer-review

48 Citations (Scopus)
199 Downloads (Pure)


We propose a feasible experimental scheme to direct measure heat and work in cold atomic setups. The method is based on a recent proposal which shows that work is a positive operator valued measure (POVM). In the present contribution, we demonstrate that the interaction between the atoms and the light polarization of a probe laser allows us to implement such POVM. In this way the work done on or extracted from the atoms after a given process is encoded in the light quadrature that can be measured with a standard homodyne detection. The protocol allows one to verify fluctuation theorems and study properties of the non-unitary dynamics of a given thermodynamic process.
Original languageEnglish
Article number035004
Number of pages13
JournalNew Journal of Physics
Publication statusPublished - 06 Mar 2015

Bibliographical note

Part of a special collection of articles titled 'Focus on Quantum Thermodynamics'


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