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Out-of-equilibrium thermodynamics of small quantum systems

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  • UserGabriele De Chiara (Belfast)
  • ClockTuesday 10 December 2019, 13:00-14:00
  • HousePhysics East 217.

If you have a question about this talk, please contact Dr Giovanni Barontini.

Unusual weekday

The study of out-of-equilibrium thermodynamics has received a significant thrust thanks to the experimental advances in the control and manipulation of microscopic systems. Work, an ubiquitous concept in traditional thermodynamics, assumes in this context the role of a stochastic variable whose fluctuations can be ingeniously related to equilibrium properties, as is the case of the celebrated Jarzynski equality [1]. This formalism can be extended to quantum mechanics where work is measured through repeated measurements of the system energy. The current challenges in quantum thermodynamics include the design of heat engines and refrigerators that exploit the quantum coherence of the working substance.

In this colloquium, I will revise these concepts and discuss feasible experimental schemes to directly measure work in cold atomic setups. The first scheme allows one to measure the work done on an atomic BEC in a double well potential when the atomic self-interaction is varied. I will discuss strategies based on optimal control techniques to reduce the irreversible work production [2]. The second scheme allows to measure work in a system of atoms in optical lattices interacting with the optical field of a multimode cavity [3].

References [1] C. Jarzynski, Phys. Rev. Lett. 78, 2690 (1997). [2] R. G. Lena, G. M. Palma, G. De Chiara, Phys. Rev. A 93 , 053618 (2016) [3] L. Villa and G. De Chiara, Quantum 2, 42 (2018)

This talk is part of the Cold atoms series.

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