Thermodynamics is one of the pillars of physical, chemical and biological sciences. In physics, concepts such as the conduction of heat, the arrow of time and the efficiency of motors are all formulated in thermodynamic terms. Although thermodynamics has been so far applied almost exclusively to macroscopic (and thus classical) systems, it has been recently realized that it can also be used to provide a new way of assessing and exploiting the dynamics occurring at the microscopic scale, where thermal fluctuations start competing with quantum effects. Such interplay, which makes necessary a fundamental reformulation of classical concepts of thermodynamics, such as work and heat and irreversibility, is also responsible for the emergence of a whole new set of advantages of a genuine quantum nature. This is the basic idea behind the emerging field of Quantum Thermodynamics and Quantum Transport (QT^{2}), a field that is closely connected to the more general Quantum Information Sciences.

In our group, we carry out theoretical research on both the foundations and potential applications of QT^{2}. On the foundations side we contribute to the task of reformulating the laws of thermodynamics to take into account quantum fluctuations. Moreover, we also address the effects of combining thermal resources (i.e. heat) with genuinely quantum mechanical resources, such as entanglement and coherence, and address whether this could bring some thermodynamic advantage. On the applied point of view, we use these techniques to study the operation of Quantum Heat Engines, which employ quantum resources to increase the efficiency and the output power. We also study the physics of Dissipative Quantum Phase Transitions, which has applications in ultra-cold atoms and other quantum platforms. Finally, we study the transport properties of spin and bosonic chains, addressing for instance how to transport unconvencional excitations such as spin currents and radiation squeezing.

Center to our research are the techniques for dealing with Open Quantum systems. That is, the mathematical description of systems which are not isolated, but rather are coupled to an environment. In our group we specilize on several techinques allowing for a microscopic description of these processes. Moreover, we also combine them with information-theoretic tools for addressing information transport between system and environment.

Main areas of research:

- Quantifiying irreversibility at the quantum level.

- Thermodynamic laws of combined classical and quantum resources.

- Operation of quantum heat engines.

- Dissipative quantum phase transitions.

- Transport in one-dimensional quantum chains.

You can also browse through our list of publications or click here for accessing the research project of each student in the group.

RECENT COLLABORATORS

- Mauro Paternostro, Queens University in Belfast.

- John Goold, Trinity College Dublin.

- Gerardo Adesso, University of Nottingham.

- Eric Lutz, Stuttgart University.

- Dragi Karevski, Université de Lorraine, Nancy.

- Sascha Wald, SISSA Trieste.

- André Timpanaro, UFABC, Santo André.

- Lucas Céleri, UFG, Goiânia.

- Frederico Brito, IFSC-USP, São Carlos.

- Fernando Semião, UFABC, Santo André.

- Cecília Cormick, NUC, Cordoba.

- Raphael Drummond, UFMG, Belo Horizonte.

- Malte Henkel, Université de Lorraine, Nancy.

- Roberto Serra, UFABC, Santo André.

- Gabriele de Chiara, Queens University in Belfast.

ACTIVE RESEARCH PROJECTS

- Fapesp individual research project (2016/08721-7).

- USP-COFECUB collaboration with the Université de Lorraine in Nancy (Uc Ph 167-17).

- Fapesp-Queens SPRINT collaboration with Prof. Mauro Paternostro (2017/50304-7).

- Fapesp-Nottingham-Birmingham joint collaboration with Profs. Gerardo Adesso and Vincent Boyer (2017/07973-5).

- INCT Quantum Information network (465469/2014-0).