Moving quantum baths: From black holes to dry friction

Particle Physics Theory seminar

Moving quantum baths: From black holes to dry friction

  • Event time: 2:00pm
  • Event date: 8th May 2019
  • Speaker: Alejandro Jenkins (Universidad de Costa Rica)
  • Location: Higgs Centre Seminar Room, Room 4305,

Event details

We describe the dynamics of a quantum field coupled to a moving heat bath in the formalism 
of the Markovian master equation for the field as an open quantum system.  This can be easily 
applied to the superradiance of a rotating black hole, an exercise that provides us with 
a useful paradigm for describing irreversible active processes in quantum thermodynamics.  
Fermions can't superradiate, but work may be extracted from active fermionic states in 
the presence of two baths with different chemical potentials.  We argue that this may explain 
the triboelectric effect (the charging of rough surfaces by rubbing, a phenomenon known 
since antiquity but which has never been explained microscopically).  We also apply this 
formalism to shock waves, fleshing out Zel'dovich's intuition that in this case 
"quantum mechanics helps understand classical mechanics".  Finally, we argue that this approach 
may throw light on the dynamics of other irreversible processes in astrophysics.

About Particle Physics Theory seminars

The Particle Physics Theory seminar is a weekly series of talks reflecting the diverse interests of the group. Topics include analytic and numerical calculations based on the Standard Model of elementary particle physics, theories exploring new physics, as well as more formal developments in gauge theories and gravity..

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