Quantum Dynamics and Thermodynamics at strong reservoir coupling

Lead Research Organisation: University of Manchester
Department Name: Physics and Astronomy

Abstract

The thermodynamics and nonequilibrium dynamics of quantum systems in contact with environmental degrees of freedom---known as open quantum systems---are topics of primary importance in physics and chemistry. In particular, understanding open quantum systems is crucial to the development of future quantum technologies that are robust against noise.

This project will develop new theoretical techniques for analysing the behaviour of quantum systems that are strongly coupled to their surrounding environments, which is often the case, for example, in solid-state and molecular nanosystems. These techniques will then be applied to understand how the thermodynamics of such systems differs from their classical counterparts, with practical applications to nanoscale heat engines and refrigerators. Further studies will analyse the effects of thermal environments on protocols for adiabatic quantum computation. This form of quantum computation encodes information within the ground state of a quantum system, which is then manipulated adiabatically (i.e. slowly) to perform a desired operation. Using the theory developed, we will study ways in which thermal environments can impact both detrimentally and beneficially in such adiabatic protocols (depending on the set-up), either degrading or enhancing the outcome of the computational process, with the aim of optimising adiabatic protocols in the presence of strong environmental interactions.

Publications

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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/N509565/1 01/10/2016 30/09/2021
1921092 Studentship EP/N509565/1 18/09/2017 30/06/2021 Owen Diba