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Quantum Steampunk: Quantum Information, Thermodynamics, Their Intersection, and Applications Thereof Across Physics


Yunger Halpern, Nicole (2018) Quantum Steampunk: Quantum Information, Thermodynamics, Their Intersection, and Applications Thereof Across Physics. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/96EJ-N815.


Combining quantum information theory (QIT) with thermodynamics unites 21st-century technology with 19th-century principles. The union elucidates the spread of information, the flow of time, and the leveraging of energy. This thesis contributes to the theory of quantum thermodynamics, particularly to QIT thermodynamics. The thesis also contains applications of the theory, wielded as a toolkit, across physics. Fields touched on include atomic, molecular, and optical physics; nonequilibrium statistical mechanics; condensed matter; high-energy physics; and chemistry. I propose the name quantum steampunk for this program. The term derives from the steampunk genre of literature, art, and cinema that juxtaposes futuristic technologies with 19th-century settings.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:Quantum information, thermodynamics, theoretical physics
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Physics, Mathematics and Astronomy
Major Option:Physics
Awards:Barbara Groce Graduate Fellowship (PMA Division, Caltech, Mar.–June. 2018). KITP Graduate Fellowship (Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics, U. of California at Santa Barbara, July–Dec. 2017). Burke Graduate Student Fellowship (Walter Burke Institute for Theoretical Physics, Caltech, Jan.–June 2017). IQIM Graduate Fellowship (Institute for Quantum Information and Matter, Caltech, NSF, and Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Oct. 2014–Oct. 2015). Virginia Gilloon Fellowship (Caltech, Oct. 2013–Oct. 2014).
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Preskill, John P.
Group:Institute for Quantum Information and Matter
Thesis Committee:
  • Preskill, John P. (chair)
  • Brandao, Fernando
  • Chen, Xie
  • Endres, Manuel A.
Defense Date:25 May 2018
Non-Caltech Author Email:nicoleyh.11 (AT)
Additional Information:The author's last (family) name is "Yunger Halpern."
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Institute for Quantum Information and Matter, CaltechPHY-0803371, PHY-1125565, GBMF-2644
Walter Burke Institute for Theoretical Physics, CaltechUNSPECIFIED
Kavli Institute for Theoretical PhysicsPHY-1125915
Foundational Questions Institute (FQXi)Large Grant for "Time and the Structure of Quantum Theory"
Projects:Quantum equilibration in many-body systems, Athermality as a resource in work extraction from quantum many-body systems: MBL-mobile, Athermality as a resource in information processing: Quantum information in quantum cognition, Non-Abelian thermal state, Resource theories for thermodynamics, Fluctuation relations and one-shot information theory
Record Number:CaltechTHESIS:05262018-061607919
Persistent URL:
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription version of Ch. 1 version of Ch. 2 version of Ch. 3 version of Ch. 4 "Introducing one-shot work into fluctuation relations" "Beyond heat baths: Generalized resource theories for small-scale thermodynamics" "Beyond heat baths II: Framework for generalized thermodynamic resource theories" "Number of trials required to estimate a free-energy difference, using fluctuation relations" "Quantum information in quantum cognition" "Quantum voting and violation of Arrow's impossibility theorem" "Maximum one-shot dissipated work from Rényi divergences" chapter "Toward Physical Realizations of Thermodynamic Resource Theories" "Resilience of scrambling measurements" "Entropic equality for worst-case work at any protocol speed" "Strengthening weak measurement of qubit out-of-time-order correlators" in ArXiv
Yunger Halpern, Nicole0000-0001-8670-6212
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:10942
Deposited By: Nicole Yunger Halpern
Deposited On:01 Jun 2018 20:57
Last Modified:21 Jun 2023 22:29

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