Information-theoretical bound of the irreversibility in thermal relaxation processes

Naoto Shiraishi, Keiji Saito

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


We establish that entropy production, which is crucial to the characterization of thermodynamic irreversibility, is obtained through a variational principle involving the Kulback-Leibler divergence. A simple application of this representation leads to an information-theoretical bound on entropy production in thermal relaxation processes; this is a stronger inequality than the conventional second law of thermodynamics. This bound is also interpreted as a constraint on the possible path of a thermal relaxation process in terms of information geometry. Our results reveal a hidden universal law inherent to general thermal relaxation processes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number110603
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Sep 13

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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