Exploring Quantum Thermodynamics With Superconducting Qubits

Professor Kater Murch, Department of Physics, Washington University
September 20, 2017 at 4:00 pm
204 Crow
Event Description 

Thermodynamics is a field of physics which describes quantities such as heat and work and their relationship to entropy and temperature. Originally developed as a theory to optimize the efficiency of heat engines, two extensions of thermodynamics in the last century advanced the theory to the point at which quantum mechanics should be incorporated. First, the role of information in thermodynamics, given by Shannon, Jaynes, and Landauer, makes strong connections between heat, entropy and information. Second, extensions of thermodynamics to the realm of microscopic systems in which fluctuations are significant allow the application of thermodynamics at the level of single trajectories of classical particles. Quantum mechanics re- quires both of these features as information and fluctuations are central to the behavior of quantum systems. The experimental control over single quantum systems that has been achieved in this century places us in a unique position to extend thermodynami cs into the quantum regime. I will describe recent experiments where we harness tools from quantum information processing with superconducting qubits to quantify heat, work, and entropy at the level of a single quantum system.

Coffee: 3:30 pm, 245 Compton