No ‘second law of entanglement’ after all, claims study


The second law of thermodynamics is often considered to be one of only a few physical laws that is absolutely and unquestionably true. The law states that the amount of ‘entropy’—a physical property—of any closed system can never decrease. It adds an ‘arrow of time’ to everyday occurrences, determining which processes are reversible and which are not. It explains why an ice cube placed on a hot stove will always melt, and why compressed gas will always fly out of its container (and never back in) when a valve is opened to the atmosphere.

Quantum entropy
The beauty of the second law of thermodynamics is its applicability to any macroscopic system, regardless of the microscopic details. In quantum systems, one of these details may be entanglement: a quantum connection that makes separated components of the system share properties. Intriguingly, quantum entanglement shares many profound similarities with thermodynamics, even though quantum systems are mostly studied in the microscopic regime.
No second law of entanglement
Resolving this long-standing open question, research carried out by Lami (previously at University of Ulm and currently at QuSoft and the University of Amsterdam) and Bartosz Regula (University of Tokyo) demonstrates that manipulation of entanglement is fundamentally irreversible, putting to rest any hopes of establishing a second law of entanglement.

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