Thermodynamics provides a robust conceptual framework and set of laws that govern the exchange of energy and matter. Although these laws were originally articulated for macroscopic objects, nanoscale systems also exhibit “thermodynamic¬like” behaviour – for instance, biomolecular motors convert chemical fuel into mechanical work, and single molecules exhibit hysteresis when manipulated using optical tweezers. To what extent can the laws of thermodynamics be scaled down to apply to individual microscopic systems, and what new features emerge at the nanoscale? Professor Jarzynski will describe some of the challenges and recent progress – both theoretical and experimental – associated with addressing these questions. Along the way, my talk will touch on non-equilibrium fluctuations, “violations” of the second law, the thermodynamic arrow of time, nanoscale feedback control, strong system-environment coupling, and quantum thermodynamics.
Chris Jarzynski is a Distinguished University Professor at University of Maryland, College Park, with appointments in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, the Institute for Physical Science and Technology, and the Department of Physics.
The seminar will take place online via Zoom platform. Register here
The video recording will be made available later on. Live screening in the Budinich Lecture Hall (ICTP) will be set up as well. Due to the safety measures that are in place, a maximum of 10 can attend by keeping distances and wearing a mask.