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Title: Multi-resource theories and applications to quantum thermodynamics
Author: Sparaciari, Carlo
ISNI:       0000 0004 7429 2923
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2018
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Resource theories are a set of tools, coming from the field of quantum information theory, that find applications in the study of several physical scenarios. These theories describe the physical world from the perspective of an agent, who acts over a system to modify its quantum state, while having at disposal a limited set of operations. A noticeable example of a physical theory which has recently been described with these tools is quantum thermodynamics, consisting in the study of thermodynamic phenomena at the nano-scale. In the standard approach to resource theories, it is usually the case that the constraints over the set of available operations single out a unique resource. In this thesis, we extend the resource theoretic framework to include situations where multiple resources can be identified, and we apply our findings to the study of quantum thermodynamics, to gain a better understanding of quantities like work and heat in the microscopic regime. We introduce a mathematical framework to study resource theories with multiple resources, and we explore under which conditions these multi-resource theories are reversible. Furthermore, we investigate the interconversion of resources, i.e., in which situations it is possible to exchange between two different kinds of resources. We then apply this formalism to quantum thermodynamics, where the two resources under consideration are energy and entropy. This multi-resource theory allows us to explore thermodynamics when the system under examination is closed or coupled with a thermal environment with a finite size. In addition to our work on multi-resource theories, we study the states of equilibrium of closed systems, known as passive states, and analyse under which circumstances it is possible to extract energy from these states. We show that passivity is energetically unstable, and that, even for closed systems, the only stable states are those with a well-defined temperature.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available