The concept of work in thermodynamics is well known and can be well
defined in a process in which a property of the system (the position of a
piston, the strength of a field) changes from an initial to a final value.
In quantum mechanics it has been recently realised that work cannot be
associated with the expectation value of an observable but rather with the
transition probabilities between energy eigenstates . As a consequence,
only the work probability distribution can be properly defined for a given
In this seminar I will first revise the recent developments concerning the
definition of work in quantum mechanics. Then I will discuss a proposal,
based on Ramsey interferometry, for measuring the work probability
distribution in an experiment. Although our proposal can be adapted to
most quantum technologies, I will explicitly discuss one example based on
an optomechanical setup.
 M. Campisi, P. Haenggi and P. Talkner, Rev. Mod. Phys. 83, 771 (2011).
 L. Mazzola, G. De Chiara and M. Paternostro, arxiv:1301.7030