Thermodynamic concepts out of equilibrium: from classical to quantum - Boltzmann Lecture 2021

With special lecturer Prof. Leticia Cugliandolo from Sorbonne Université and Institut Universitaire de France, Paris

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 a glassy system and speculate about how one could build upon these results to improve our understanding of the physics far from equilibrium.

You can follow the webinar at this link:

Leticia Fernanda Cugliandolo is a professor at Sorbonne Université and Institut Universitaire de France, Paris. She is an Argentine condensed matter physicist known for her research on non-equilibrium thermodynamics, spin glass, and glassy systems. She won the Prix Paul Langevin in 2002, and in the same year won the Marie Curie Award of the European Commission. She won the Irène Joliot-Curie Prize for female scientist of the year in 2015.