Starts 13 Oct 2016 11:30
Ends 13 Oct 2016 12:30
Central European Time
The study of out-of-equilibrium thermodynamics has received a significant thrust thanks to the experimental advances in the control and manipulation of microscopic systems. Work, an ubiquitous concept in traditional thermodynamics, assumes in this context the role of a stochastic variable whose fluctuations can be ingeniously related to equilibrium properties, as is the case of the celebrated Jarzynski equality [1]. In this talk, I will revise these concepts and discuss feasible experimental schemes to directly measure work in cold atomic setups. I will show that the interaction between atoms and the light polarisation of a probe laser, as in atomic ensembles experiments, allows us to measure work fluctuations through a homodyne measurement of the output light [2]. A second scheme allows one to measure the work done on an atomic BEC in a double well potential when the atomic self-interaction is varied. I will discuss strategies based on optimal control techniques to reduce the irreversible work production [3].
[1] C. Jarzynski, Phys. Rev. Lett. 78, 2690 (1997).
[2] G. De Chiara, A. J. Roncaglia, J. P. Paz, New J. Phys. 17, 035004 (2015)
[3] R. G. Lena, G. M. Palma, G. De Chiara, Phys. Rev. A 93, 053618 (2016)