Jinghao Lyu, Alexander B. Boyd, and James P. Crutchfield
ABSTRACT: When reformulated as a resource theory, thermodynamics can analyze system behaviors in the single-shot regime. In this, the work required to implement state transitions is bounded by α-Renyi divergences and so differs in identifying efficient operations compared to stochastic thermodynamics. Thus, a detailed understanding of the difference between stochastic thermodynamics and resource-theoretic thermodynamics is needed. To this end, we study reversibility in the single-shot regime, generalizing the two-level work reservoirs used there to multi-level work reservoirs. This achieves reversibility in any transition in the single-shot regime. Building on this, we systematically explore multi-level work reservoirs in the nondissipation regime with and without catalysts. The resource-theoretic results show that two-level work reservoirs undershoot Landauer's bound, misleadingly implying energy dissipation during computation. In contrast, we demonstrate that multi-level work reservoirs achieve Landauer's bound and produce zero entropyi.