IQIM Postdoctoral and Graduate Student Seminar
The resource theory approach to thermodynamics and coherence
Abstract: What do entanglement and thermodynamics have in common? In both cases the resource we are interested in, work and entanglement, are not quantum observables. Moreover, both theories are built around a limitation: locality for the theory of entanglement, the second law for thermodynamics. As we will see, the techniques developed in quantum information to study entanglement are well-suited to the study of thermodynamics.
I will briefly review this resource theory approach to thermodynamics, with particular emphasis on the quantum aspects of the theory which are still mostly unexplored. In the second part of the talk, I will focus on the fact that thermodynamics should be understood as a hybrid theory of two distinct resources: athermality and quantum coherence. I will show that second law-like statements characterise the irreversible evolution of coherence "modes" within a state under thermodynamic transformations. I will conclude discussing the subtle question of the coherence to work conversion and the need for a careful accounting of the resources involved at the nanoscale.
Description of quantum coherence in thermodynamic processes requires constraints beyond free energy, M. L., D. Jennings, T. Rudolph, Nat. Comm. 6, 6383 (2015) (open access). (Also arXiv:1405.2188)
Quantum coherence, time-traslation symmetry and thermodynamics, M. L., K. Korzekwa, D. Jennings, T. Rudolph, Phys. Rev. X 5 021001 (2015) (open access). (Also arXiv:1410.4572)
The extraction of work from quantum coherence, K. Korzekwa, M. L., J. Oppenheim, D. Jennings, arXiv:1506.07875 (June 2015).
Contact: Marcia Brown at 626-395-4013 email@example.com