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FIELD Comp.Sciences:Information Science
DATE November 13 (Fri), 2020
TIME 09:30-11:00
PLACE Online
HOST Kim, Jaewan
INSTITUTE North Carolina A&T State University
TITLE Quantum Physics and Thermodynamics: I) Fluctuation Relations and Related Issues
ABSTRACT Einstein said that thermodynamics is the science most likely to be true (= “the most reliable”), while every other science is always subject to change, to reinterpretation, even to deep revision like relativity revised our concepts of space and gravitation (by himself) and quantum theory revised classical mechanics (is he right, by the way?). In fact, thermodynamics has been occupying a special niche among the sciences:

Normally, we have experienced a flow of concepts from “basic science” into “technological applications”. This has certainly been the way, e.g., nuclear energy and nuclear bombs evolved from implications in the theory of relativity. Likewise, lasers and all the ways we use them grew out of basic quantum mechanics. Even quantum computer emerged from basic quantum physics. All these examples (and others) suggest that ideas and concepts naturally and normally flow from the basic, “pure” science to “applied” science and technology, to the creation of new kinds of devices.

But in reality, the flow between stimulus and application can go in both directions, and thermodynamics is an archetypal example of the applied stimulating the basic. Over the last two decades, a crucial advance has been made in the connection between the macroscopic approach of traditional thermodynamics and the microscopic (nano and quantal) description of the world, especially in terms of the Jarzynski-type fluctuation relations; since it was introduced, the Jarzynski equality (JE) has been attracting a great deal of interest due to its remarkable attribute.

We will begin with a rigorous review of the recent progress in thermodynamics (i.e., beyond the textbook-level discussion, including, say, Ben-Naim's rigorous pedagogical approach; cf. Hasok Chang), either classical or quantal, then discuss the JE (classical and quantal as well as semiclassical), and its conceptual drawbacks (especially in the quantum domain such that we'll later need deep revision in the concept of quantal heat and work?), say, by reviewing the famous debates (about the validity of classical JE) between Jarzynski and other people in 2000 to 2010. We will also take into consideration generalizations of the quantal JE (especially for initial states with coherence, i.e., non-thermal states) and their conceptual drawbacks. Finally, we will review some recent studies on Gaussian states (in terms of the Wigner functions) heavily employed for quantum information processing and thermodynamics.

In the subsequent presentations, we will review other recent results in quantum thermodynamics, including works of several leading groups such as Miller-Anders, Deffner-Lutz, Hanggi-Talkner, Allahverdyan, etc., and the remarkable Bristol model (Popescu) of quantal self-working thermal machine as a generalization of Einstein's self-functioning refrigerator (“Scientific American”), and Szilard Machines, as well as recent works published in Journal “Entropy”; e.g, “Quantum and Thermodynamics ? Why” (quantum thermodynamics in contrast to traditional quantum-statistical physics dealing with the spin-statistics only), J-T Hsiang and B-L Hu, in the issue “Emergent Quantum Mechanics” as well as Beretta's work (MIT Mechanical Eng.), the so-called Steepest Entropy-Ascent Quantum Thermodynamics (SEAQT). The final question: Can we find our “own” quantum business lying at the surface of our joint interest?
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