Jenny Stanford Publishing
486 pages | 12 Color Illus. | 54 B/W Illus.
The point of departure of this book is a triad of themes: information theory, thermodynamics, and quantum mechanics. These are related: thermodynamics and quantum mechanics form the basis of quantum thermodynamics; information and quantum mechanics underly, inter alia, the notorious quantum measurement problem; and information and thermodynamics have much to say about control limits in the tension between micro- and macro-descriptions.
Why does the world around us typically look thermal—from cosmology down to individual embedded spins? Do informational measures constitute additional (independent) parameters beyond physical ones? Is the transition between mechanical and thermal systems gradual or discontinuous? Pertinent examples can be found in various processes implemented on small quantum systems. Particularly attractive are model systems that can be treated thermodynamically, but—to some extent—also exactly, that is, based on pure quantum dynamics. This possibility opens the door to nano-thermodynamics. In this sense, the book aims at a modern perspective of nanoscale applications, defined here as a potential realization of various functions as constrained by given resources.
"This book of Günter Mahler, an early contributor to the field of quantum thermodynamics, comes at the right time to provide insights into this exciting field at the intersection of information theory, quantum mechanics, and statistical mechanics."
—Prof. Martin B. Plenio, University of Ulm, Germany
"This interesting book by one of the pioneers of quantum thermodynamics provides an in-depth discussion of two main statistical theories (information theory and quantum mechanics) and relates them to the major macroscopic theory, viz. thermodynamics. The presentation is based on ‘big questions,’ issues that drive the foundation research and can eventually display the very limits of studied theories. Thus this book not only describes the existing results, but also tends to guide the future research."
—Dr. Armen E. Allahverdyan, A. Alikhanyan National Laboratory, Armenia
Introduction. Information. Quantum Physics. Thermodynamics. Quantum Thermodynamics. Finite Processes. Control Cycles. Continuous Operations. Outlook.