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Title: Towards thermodynamics of quantum systems away from equilibrium
Author: Deesuwan, Tanapat
ISNI:       0000 0004 5994 3396
Awarding Body: Imperial College London
Current Institution: Imperial College London
Date of Award: 2016
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A probability distribution encodes all the statistics of its corresponding random variable, hence it encodes all one can learn about the system via the random variable. In the theoretical part of this thesis, we discuss several equivalent representations of probability distributions in physics which establishes their roles as complete information measures in their own contexts. In particular, we show how Rényi entropies (as well as relative Rényi entropies) completely characterise the uncertainty of a system, hence implies the insufficiency of Shannon entropy (as well as relative entropy) in capturing the information in the presence of strong fluctuation. We also generalise Jarzynski equality in terms of relative Rényi entropies and show the equivalence between the generalised equality and the work distribution. As a consequence, an equivalence between a monotonic property of relative Rényi entropies and a kind of second law relations is revealed. In the experimental part, we study the non-equilibrium dynamics of an optically levitated nanosphere system in Knudsen regime and discover that, even though the system is not in equilibrium, the dynamics can still be treated as a Brownian motion with an effective temperature and an effective coefficient. Due to the Gaussian statistics of the levitated sphere, we show how some relevant non-equilibrium properties of the system, including several local temperatures, can be analysed from its power spectrum.
Supervisor: Rudolph, Terry Sponsor: Thailand ; Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral