When considering devices operating at a scale where quantum mechanical laws become important we may ask whether the solid grounds of thermodynamics might be challenged, not only by the lack of a thermodynamic limit, but also by the intrinsic uncertainty synonymous with this domain. It comes as no surprise that there has been a recent concerted effort to understand how the laws of thermodynamics generalise to arbitrary quantum systems both at and away from equilibrium. This effort is known as quantum thermodynamics and its development and application particularly to quantum many-body physics is the main focus of this group.
We are interested in, but not restricted to, a number of general themes
- The emergence of thermodynamic behaviour from the underlying complex dynamics of quantum many-body systems.
- Quantum fluctuation theorems and non-equilibrium physics.
- Steady state thermodynamics, transport and quantum correlations in quantum correlated systems with non trivial and disordered geometries.
- The description and optimisation of both autonomous and non-autonomous quantum engine cycles and energy storage devices.
- Relationship between thermodynamics and quantum information processing.
Here's a talk given by John at Harvard University, during the "Quantum Thermodynamics" workshop November, 2017