Heat production of noninteracting fermions subjected to electric fields
Electric resistance in conducting media is related to heat (or entropy) production in the presence of electric fields. In this paper, by using Araki's relative entropy for states, we mathematically define and analyze the heat production of free fermions within external potentials. More precisely, we investigate the heat production of the nonautonomous C*-dynamical system obtained from the fermionic second quantization of a discrete SchrÃ¶dinger operator with bounded static potential in the presence of an electric field that is time- and space-dependent. It is a first preliminary step towards a mathematical description of transport properties of fermions from thermal considerations. This program will be carried out in several papers. The regime of small and slowly varying in space electric fields is important in this context and is studied the present paper. We use tree-decay bounds of the n-point, n âˆˆ 2N, correlations of the many-fermion system to analyze this regime. We verify below the first law of thermodynamics for the system under consideration. The latter implies, for systems doing no work, that the heat produced by the electromagnetic field is exactly the increase of the internal energy resulting from the modification of the (infinite volume) state of the fermion system. The identification of heat production with an energy increment is, among otheg things, technically convenient. We initially focus our study on noninteracting (or free) fermions, but our approach will be later applied to weakly interacting fermions.