Enhanced Photonic Maxwell’s Demon with Correlated Baths

Quantum (in print)


Guilherme L. Zanin, Michael Antesberger, Maxime J. Jacquet, Paulo H. Souto Ribeiro, Lee A. Rozema, Philip Walther

Maxwell’s Demon is at the heart of the interrelation between quantum information processing and thermodynamics. In this thought experiment, a demon extracts work from two thermal baths at equilibrium by gaining information about them at the single-particle level and applying classical feed-forward operations. Here we implement a photonic version of Maxwell’s Demon with active feed-forward in a fiber-based system using ultrafast optical switches. We experimentally show that, if correlations exist between the two thermal baths, the Demon can extract over an order of magnitude more work than without correlations. Our work demonstrates the great potential of photonic experiments — which provide a unique degree of control on the system — to access new regimes in quantum thermodynamics