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Boltzmann Lecture | Thermodynamic concepts out of equilibrium: from classical to quantum

Monday, 22 February, 2021 - 14:30 to 16:00

This year's traditional Boltzmann lecture will be held on February 22, at 14:30, and will be held by Prof. Leticia Cugliandolo, from Laboratoire de Physique Théorique et Hautes Energies Sorbonne Université, Paris and Institut Universitaire de France, Paris, titled 
Thermodynamic concepts out of equilibrium: from classical to quantum

Statistical Mechanics is the theoretical tool that describes the  equilibrium collective behaviour of macroscopic classical and quantum  systems. Notably, it has explained full branches of physics such as thermodynamics and phase transitions. In so doing, it gave a  microscopic meaning to so far phenomenological variables such as  temperature and pressure.

At present, there is no equivalent framework for generic  out-of-equilibrium macroscopic systems. One is forced to analyse their  dynamics on a case-by-case  basis and try to extract from these studies, for example, variables that could behave as the thermodynamic ones.

In this talk I will give two seemingly different but timely examples  of out of equilibrium systems: classical active matter and a quantum  isolated spin chain. Although we may ignore the details of their  asymptotic behaviour and  their full statistical description, I will show that an  effective temperature can be identified and used as a guideline to  grasp at least some of the macroscopic properties of these problems. I  will then explain how these results fit within ideas developed in the context of  glassy system and speculate about how one could build upon these  results to improve our understanding of the physics far from  equilibrium.

Watch the webinar: