Thomas Fogarty, Rise of the Quantum Machines
Please note the room change - the seminar is at C209
Speaker: Thomas Fogarty, Quantum Systems (Busch) unit
Title: Rise of the Quantum Machines
Abstract: State of the art experimental techniques give us the ability to trap and manipulate single atoms which can be used to create designer quantum systems, ushering in a new era of quantum devices. Control of the dynamics of these systems can be difficult due to the presence of interactions between particles and coupling to thermal environments. This has ignited a concerted effort by physicists to describe thermodynamics on quantum scales, where dynamics and thermal excitations are intimately connected. Devices such as quantum thermal machines offer many insights into the workings of quantum thermodynamics while also being realizable in modern experiments. These machines can be used to extract useable work from the heat flow through a quantum medium, thereby describing a quantum heat engine. In my work I investigate how the performance of such engine cycles can be enhanced by interactions between particles, showing that many-body cooperative effects can be exploited in these devices. Precise dynamical control is also important for these devices to be useful, as excessive dynamical fluctuations can act as a type of friction which lowers efficiency. I will discuss how essentially frictionless processes can be designed through shortcuts to adiabaticity which can ensure peak performance on short timescales.
The talk will be followed by casual discussion with free pizza and drinks. Join in to learn more from the speaker!