Celebrating Boltzmann

A seminar by the physicist Immanuel Bloch on Tuesday 20 February
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20 February 2018, 11 am
SISSA, room 128-129

The Statistical Physics Group at SISSA will launch next week the Boltzmann Lecture, an event to celebrate the Austrian physicist on his birthday. An outstanding guest, the physicist Immanuel Bloch, will start the initiative with the talk entitled “Using Ultracold Quantum Gases to Probe New and Old Frontiers of Statistical Physics.”

Ludwig Eduard Boltzmann, born in Wien on 20 February, is considered the founding father of statistical physics. He developed the probabilistic laws that explain the physical properties of matter and the concepts of entropy and irreversibility. The Boltzmann Lecture is a project promoted by the group of Statistical Physics at SISSA and, in particular, by the coordinator Pasquale Calabrese and Giuseppe Mussardo, author of the documentary film “Boltzmann. The genius of disorder” (2006).

During the first lecture, next Tuesday, at 11 am in room 128-129, Immanuel Bloch will address one of the fundamental questions in statistical physics: how to conciliate the laws of quantum mechanics for a macroscopic system – which predict a memory of the initial state of the system – with the familiar irreversible phenomena that bring any extended system to a thermal equilibrium, where all memory of the initial state is lost. Bloch has led outstanding experiments on this crucial theme. During his talk, he will present a series of new results on cold atom quantum systems made of mixtures of fermions, which lead to a physical phenomenon known as Many Body Localization Transition. Moreover, he will discuss the possibility to realize quantum systems with negative temperature in the laboratory.

Immanuel Bloch is Scientific Director and Managing Director of the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, Garching, Germany. He completed his PhD in 2000 working with Theodor W. Hänsch (2005 Nobel Prize in Physics) at the Ludwig-Maximilians University in Munich. Bloch moved to a full professor position in 2003, when he was only 31 years old. For his outstanding work on quantum many-body system studied by means ultracold atomic quantum gases on optical lattices he received many prizes and awards, including the European Physical Society Prize in 2011 for Fundamental Aspects of Quantum Electronics and Optics, the 2013 Körber European Science Prize and the 2015 Harvey Prize from Israel Technion Institute.

Image: Giuseppe Mussardo