The steady interest in understanding the thermodynamics of quantum systems has led to several approaches to defining work in a quantum mechanically consistent way (at least almost consistent). The two-point measurement protocol is one such approach that, despite some limitations, has provided a wealth of insight. While many analyses have focussed on the first and/or second moment (relating to the average and fluctuations) of the distribution arising from this protocol, interesting physics can be captured by going beyond and examining properties of the full probability distribution. In this talk I will present a snapshot of this for several systems, in particular for many-body systems host to quantum and/or disorder-driven phase transitions for both sudden quenches and finite time ramps. Useful summary tools to characterise the distribution, chiefly the Shannon entropy and measures of Gaussianity, will be discussed.

This talk will touch-on/draw-from results in the following papers:

- Entropy of the quantum work distribution, Anthony Kiely, Eoin O'Connor, Thomás Fogarty, Gabriel T. Landi, and Steve Campbell, arXiv:2210.07896

- Non-Gaussian work statistics at finite time driving, Krissia Zawadzki, Anthony Kiely, Gabriel T. Landi, and Steve Campbell, Phys. Rev. A 107, 012209 (2023)

- Work statistics and symmetry breaking in an excited state quantum phase transition, Zakaria Mzaouali, Ricardo Puebla, John Goold, Morad El Baz, and Steve Campbell, Phys. Rev. E 103, 032145 (2021)

- Criticality revealed through quench dynamics in the Lipkin-Meshkov-Glick model, Steve Campbell, Phys. Rev. B 94, 184403 (2016)

Note: Brown-bag lunch at the seminar room before the talk.