Special Issue "Fluctuation Relations and Nonequilibrium Thermodynamics in Classical and Quantum Systems"
A special issue of Entropy (ISSN 1099-4300).
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2019).
A printed edition of this Special Issue is available here.
The recent advances in the control of microscopic systems down to the atomic level have triggered a renewed interest in the study of the thermodynamic processes of small systems. As these are characterised by strong fluctuations of thermal and quantum origins, thermodynamic quantities like heat, work, and entropy become stochastic variables. Fluctuation theorems, including the most celebrated Jarzynski relation, connect exponential averages of these quantities, even for out-of-equilibrium processes, with equilibrium observables like free energy differences.
On the one hand, in the classical stochastic thermodynamic setting, fluctuation theorems are well established and experimentally verified under appropriate conditions (e.g., initial equilibrium and weak coupling). However, in recent years, these assumptions have been challenged and new fluctuations have been discovered. On the other hand, fluctuation theorems in the quantum domain have been studied quite recently. According to the so-called two-time measurement definition of work, the quantum Jarzynski relation has been verified in experiments with nuclear magnetic resonance and trapped ion setups. However, the very definition of work is still under active debate, since it is known that the two-time measurement protocol leads to inconsistencies with the laws of thermodynamics. Moreover, for open quantum systems, approaches based on quantum trajectories have been put forward in the last few years.
Further recent investigations include the design and realisation of quantum thermal engines and refrigerators with the ambitious goal of understanding whether a quantum advantage, due to genuine quantum correlations or coherence, is possible in such devices. Insights from quantum information theory are helping to formalise quantum thermodynamics as a resource theory.
The areas covered in this Special Issue include but are not restricted to:
*) Fluctuation relations in classical stochastic thermodynamics
*) Definitions of work, heat, and entropy and related fluctuation theorems in quantum systems
*) Quantum engines and refrigerators
*) Resource theory of quantum thermodynamics
*) Role of quantum correlations and coherence in quantum thermodynamics
Dr. Gabriele De Chiara
Manuscript Submission Information
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- quantum thermodynamics
- out-of-equilibrium thermodynamics
- fluctuation theorems
- work, heat, and entropy
- quantum engines
- open quantum systems
- quantum resource theories