Colloquium Schedule

Colloquium: Thursday, November 6, 4:10 PM, Lewis Lab 512

Understanding Thermodynamics Through Quantum Eigenstates

Anatoli Polkovnikov

Department of Physics
Boston University

There is a long quest on understanding how thermodynamics and statistical physics emerge from the microscopic laws of Nature dating back to Boltzmann. While in classical systems it is fairly well established that non-­linear equations of motion lead to chaotic behavior of trajectories and as a result to ergodicity, in quantum systems equations of motion are linear and there is no chaos in the same sense. Chaos in quantum systems was progressively understood due to seminal contributions by J. von Neumann, E. Wigner, M. Berry and others. Finally about 20 years ago, a powerful conjecture allowing us to understand thermalization in quantum systems through eigenstates was formulated by J. Deutsch and M. Srednicki. This conjecture is now known as the Eigenstate Thermalization Hypothesis (ETH). In this talk I will review these developments and explain how one can understand many equilibrium and non-equilibrium thermodynamic relations (detailed balance, fluctuation theorems, Onsager relations and others). I will finish my talk by showing how using ETH, P. Ponte et al. made new non-­perturbative predictions about periodically driven Floquet systems.

Click Here for full announcement

Physics and Astronomy Colloquia are usually scheduled for Thursdays at 4:10 PM in Lewis Lab room 316 (though this one will be held in LL 512). Refreshments and snacks are available in the nearby coffee room at 3:45 PM.


Physics Colloquium Schedule for FALL 2014

Click on Title below for past or upcoming Announcements (where available), and Speaker name for website.        

August 28Alexander BalaeffUniversity of Central FloridaMechanics of a DNA Molecule: Structural Transition Under Applied Stress
September 4Roger CudneyCICEXE, MexicoOptical Devices Made with Ferroelectric Domains in Lithium Niobate
September 11Rene EssiambreBell Labs, Alcatel-LucentThe Limits of Optical Fibers to Transmit Information
September 18Na Young KimStanford UniversityMicrocavity Exciton-Polariton Condensation: Past, Present, and Future
September 25Liangcheng ZhouPrinceton UniversityFrom Lab to Fab: 3D Nanostructure Engineering on a Large Scale for Innovative Applications
October 2Harold KimGeorgia TechStatistical Mechanics of Small DNA Loops
October 9Waseem BakrPrinceton UniversitySynthetic Quantum Matter with Ultra Cold Atoms
October 16Yan Li
(additional website)
Brookhaven National LaboratoryCharacterization and Understanding Interactions at Material Interfaces from First-Principles Calculations
October 23Wilson PoonUniversity of EdinburghBacteria as Active Colloids
October 30Anatoliy GlushchenkoUniv. of Colorado, Colorado SpringsLiquid Crystalline Colloids of Nanoparticles: Preparation, Properties, and Applications
November 6Anatoli PolkovnikovBoston UniversityUnderstanding Thermodynamics Through Quantum Eigenstates
November 13Charles BeichmanNASA-
November 20Aseet MukherjeeFermi Lab-
November 27No ColloquiumThanksgiving 
December 4Kerstin PerezHaverford College-
December 11No ColloquiumFinal Exams-