Asymptotic reversibility of thermal operations for interacting quantum spin systems via generalized quantum Stein’s lemma
For quantum spin systems in any spatial dimension with a local, translation-invariant Hamiltonian, we prove that asymptotic state convertibility from a quantum state to another one by a thermodynamically feasible class of quantum dynamics, called thermal operations,is completely characterized by the Kullback-Leibler (KL) divergence rate, if the state is translation-invariant and spatially ergodic. Our proof consists of two parts and is phrased in terms of a branch of the quantum information theory called the resource theory. First, we prove that any states, for which the min and max Rényi divergences collapse approximately to a single value, can be approximately reversibly converted into one another by thermal operations with the aid of a small source of quantum coherence. Second, we prove that these divergences collapse asymptotically to the KL divergence rate for any translation-invariant ergodic state. We show this via a generalization of the quantum Stein’s lemma for quantum hypothesis testing beyond independent and identically distributed (i.i.d.) situations.Our result implies that the KL divergence rate serves as a thermodynamic potential that provides a complete characterization of thermodynamic convertibility of ergodic states of quantum many-body systems in the thermodynamic limit, including out-of-equilibrium and fully quantum situations.