, Volume 14, Issue 5, pp 1193-1202
Date: 03 Nov 2012

Heat Bounds and the Blowtorch Theorem

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We study driven systems with possible population inversion and we give optimal bounds on the relative occupations in terms of released heat. A precise meaning to Landauer’s blowtorch theorem (Phys Rev A 12:636–638, 1975) is obtained stating that nonequilibrium occupations are essentially modified by kinetic effects. Towards very low temperatures we apply a Freidlin-Wentzel type analysis for continuous time Markov jump processes. It leads to a definition of dominant states in terms of both heat and escape rates.

Communicated by Denis Bernard.