Quantum Science Seminar #68

Quantum steampunk: Quantum information meets thermodynamics

1. September 2022

Thermodynamics has shed light on engines, efficiency, and time’s arrow since the Industrial Revolution. But the steam engines that powered the Industrial Revolution were large and classical. Much of today’s technology and experiments are small-scale, quantum, far from equilibrium, and processing information. Nineteenth-century thermodynamics needs re-envisioning for the 21st century. Guidance has come from the mathematical toolkit of quantum information theory. Applying quantum information theory to thermodynamics sheds light on fundamental questions (e.g., how does entanglement spread during quantum thermalization? How can we distinguish quantum heat from quantum work?) and practicalities (e.g., quantum engines and the thermodynamic value of coherences). I will overview how quantum information theory is being used to revolutionize thermodynamics in quantum steampunk, named for the steampunk genre of literature, art, and cinema that juxtaposes futuristic technologies with 19th-century settings.


[1] Nicole Yunger Halpern

"Quantum Steampunk: The Physics of Yesterday's Tomorrow“

Johns Hopkins University Press, (2022).

[2] John Goold, Marcus Huber, Arnau Riera, Lídia del Rio, and Paul Skrzypczyk

"The role of quantum information in thermodynamics—a topical review"

Journal of Physics A: Mathematical and Theoretical 49, 143002 (2016).

[3] Sai Vinjanampathy and Janet Anders

"Quantum thermodynamics

Contemporary Physics 57, 545 (2016)

Hier finden Sie den Link zum Livetalk um 17.00 Uhr (CEST) sowie zu den Aufzeichnungen im Nachhinein:


Hier sehen Sie die Aufzeichnung des letzten Vortrags von Roberta Sessoli

Quantum Science Seminar #67 - Roberta Sessoli

Zur Redakteursansicht