Relazione su invito
Out-of-equilibrium thermodynamics in ultracold atoms.
De Chiara G.
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. 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. 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.