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Title: Equilibration and thermodynamics of quantum systems
Author: García-Pintos, Luis Pedro
ISNI:       0000 0004 5915 3298
Awarding Body: University of Bristol
Current Institution: University of Bristol
Date of Award: 2016
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In this thesis we study two topics topics within quantum statistical mechanics and quantum thermodynamics: the equilibration time scales of quantum systems, and the process of work extraction from quantum systems. After introducing the notion of equilibration of quantum systems in Chapter 2, and proving a general upper bound on the equilibration time scales for any observable, we show in Chapter 3 the existence of both observables with extremely slow and extremely rapid equilibration. Interestingly, we find that the typical behaviour of a set of observables initially out of equilibrium turns out to give rapid time scales as well. In Chapter 4 we address the problem of understanding, from first principles, the conditions under which a closed quantum system equilibrates within physically realistic times with respect to a given observable. We provide an upper bound on the equilibration time scales which, under some physically reasonable conditions, shows that equilibration may be in fact mush faster than the extremely slow cases found in Chapter 3. In particular, we apply this result to give bounds on the time scales of equilibration for a system interacting with a bath which, unlike previously known general upper bounds, do not scale with the size of the bath. On Chapter 5 we introduce the topic of thermodynamic work extraction from quantum systems, from the perspective of treating non-thermal states as a resource. \Ve then extend this approach to account for the fact that quantum operations which do not commute with the total energy also constitute a potentially valuable resource.
Supervisor: Linden, Noah ; Winter, Andreas Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available