Thermodynamic Speed Limits for Multiple, Coevolving Subsystems
Abstract: Thermodynamic speed limits provide lower bounds on the time required for a system evolving according to a continuous-time Markov process to travel between two distributions. The bounds are formulated in terms of the entropy production and dynamical activity produced as the system evolves between those distributions. While previously derived versions of these speed limits apply to a single physical system considered in isolation, many systems of interest are naturally modeled as a composite system, comprising a set of co-evolving subsystems. Here we show that knowledge of the multipartite nature of such a system leads to tighter bounds on the speed of its evolution. To demonstrate our results in an example, we show numerical calculations of a continuous-time Markov chain capturing the dynamics of a cell sensing its environment.