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640. WE-Heraeus-Seminar: Non-Markovianity and Strong Coupling Effects in Thermodynamics

Physikzentrum Bad Honnef, Germany
Veranstaltung von 10 Apr 2017 bis 13 Apr 2017

Scientific organizers: Dr. G. Schaller, Dr. J. Cerrillo, Dr. P. Strasberg, TU Berlin




Physical background

The recent years have seen an enormous progress in the study of the dynamics of open (quantum) systems in two different directions:

On the one hand, for systems weakly coupled to ideal (large and memoryless) thermal reservoirs, it was possible to establish a consistent thermodynamic framework, which holds arbitrarily far from equilibrium and which is valid even at the level of individual fluctuating trajectories. This framework allows us, e.g., to extract valuable equilibrium information out of non-equilibrium fluctuations or to study the performance of biomolecular machines or artificial nanoscale heat engines.

On the other hand, most open (quantum) systems of interest are not coupled weakly to a memoryless reservoir and there has been a lot of progress in the dynamical description and understanding of them. This includes, e.g., completely new or improved traditional methods to describe such systems, efficient numerical algorithms for simulating them, or a precise characterization and mathematical definition of non-Markovian (quantum) dynamics.

Goal of the workshop

The goal of the workshop is to bring together experts from both communities in order to explore how thermodynamic and other fundamental laws govern the behaviour of small scale systems beyond the weak-coupling and Markovian approximation. This requires us to investigate questions of fundamental interest, but is also of vital practical interest in a world of growing power demand and increased (nano-) technological abilities.

More specifically, the workshop tries to address (but is not limited to) the following questions:

  • A precise definition of strong coupling and non-Markovianity for open (quantum) systems.
  • A meaningful definition of fundamental thermodynamic quantities (heat, work, internal energy, entropy, etc.) in the strong coupling and non-Markovian regime.
  • Efficient theoretical methods to compute the (thermo) dynamics of open (quantum) systems.
  • Finding and formulating the laws of thermodynamics as well as additional constraints beyond them.
  • Extending the "average" framework to single, fluctuating trajectories in view of (quantum) stochastic thermodynamics.
  • Presenting and analysing particular systems suitable for experimental implementation.

Speakers and audience

The field of strong coupling and non-Markovian thermodynamics is very new and preliminary results derived so far differ vastly in the way they approach the problem. In this respect, we hope that the workshop goes beyond a mere presentation of results, but provides a convenient platform to exchange and discuss ideas. Therefore, we are aiming at a cozy atmosphere leaving enough time for discussions. The choosen pool of invited speakers consists of distinguished researchers with a different background in the field and who have enough time to present their ideas in detail. Furthermore, the program is complemented by a few contributed talks and everyone will have the chance to present a poster, too. The application for the workshop is open to all scientists, but we wish to attract in particular young researchers (master and PhD students, early postdocs) with the intention to develop this exciting field further.

VeranstaltungsortPhysikzentrum, Hauptstraße 5, 53604 Bad Honnef, Deutschland