Psi-k: PhD in many-body quantum thermodynamics, fully funded for UK students

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PhD in many-body quantum thermodynamics, fully funded for UK students

Project title: Many-body effects in finite-time quantum thermodynamic processes

As in the classical world, thermodynamics will impose limits in the fabrication and operation of devices for quantum technologies [1]. The descriptions and the laws as formulated within the conventional thermodynamics are no longer valid at the scales where these technologies are being developed. At this level energy fluctuations become important, and quantities such as work, heat, and entropy production are treated as stochastic variables. The study of the thermodynamics of quantum many-body systems remains a challenging task, as even theoretical studies may require an enormous computational power. The investigation of the thermodynamics of the emergent collective phenomena in quantum many-body systems is, without a doubt, a fascinating subject. Recently we presented DFT-inspired methods to calculate quantum thermodynamic properties of interacting systems subject to driving fields [2], where there were applied to the calculation of the average quantum work and entropy in a Hubbard model driven by a time-dependent external potential. We also started analysing signatures of the metal- Mott-insulator transition, a many-body-driven quantum-phase transitions, in finite-time quantum thermodynamic processes [3], and demonstrate how increasing correlations dramatically affect the statistics of energy fluctuations and consequently the quantum work distribution of finite Hubbard chains. In particular we noted distinct effects due to the considered processes being a finite-time – not quenched – processes. Following these initial results, in this project we wish to capture a more general understanding of the signatures of quantum phase transitions on quantum thermodynamic properties. To this aim we will consider different models and quantum phase transitions during processes driven by various time-dependent potentials. A particular aim is to identify how finite-time processes modify the character of such signatures.

Experience in coding and a background in many-body theory and quantum mechanics are a requirement. This is a fully funded program for UK nationals (or students who have acquired similar fee status) only.

Apply online:

Supervisor: Prof Irene D’Amico, University of York, UK, [email protected]

[1] See e.g Sai Vinjanampathy and Janet Anders. Quantum thermodynamics. Contemp. Phys., 57(4):545, 2016.

[2] M. Herrera, R. M. Serra, and I. D’Amico. DFT-inspired Methods for Quantum Thermodynamics. Scientific Reports 7, Article number 4655 (2017); Herrera, M., Zawadzki, K. & D’Amico I.. Melting a Hubbard dimer: benchmarks of ALDA for quantum thermodynamics. Eur. Phys. J. B (2018) 91: 248.; A H Skelt, K Zawadzki and I D’Amico. Many-body effects on the thermodynamics of closed quantum systems. J. Phys. A: Math. Theor. 52 485304 (2019).

[3] Krissia Zawadzki, Roberto M. Serra, Irene D’Amico. Work-distribution quantumness and irreversibility when crossing a quantum phase transition in finite time. Phys. Rev. Research 2, 033167 (2020)