Thermodynamics and quantum mechanics are strongly connected. Even historically, the investigation on the quantum framework started from thermodynamic studies by Planck and Einstein. Nowadays, the thermodynamics of quantum systems and processes is a very active field with the ambition to shed light onto the foundations of quantum theory and pinpoint the potential for technological development brought forward by quantum devices. Recent experimental progress in the nanoscale domain, requiring quantum mechanics for an accurate description, are the perfect omen for a significant impact of thermodynamics of quantum systems in the emerging field of quantum technologies.
Many questions at the interface between quantum theory and thermodynamics are currently being addressed, including thermalisation of quantum systems, the definition of work in quantum mechanics, the role of coherence, entanglement, quantum fluctuations, and quantum measurements in thermal machines, the efficiency and power of quantum engines, and the minimum temperature achievable in small quantum refrigerators. Such questions are vital for the development of quantum thermos-machines.
The goal of this school is to provide a broad yet technical overview of the emerging field of thermodynamics of quantum systems and processes, with a series of lectures given by leading experts in the field. The school is mainly addressed to PhD students, advanced master students and postdocs, and aims to train a new generation of researchers in a field that, in light of its emerging character, sees a shortage of specialized scientists.