Information Engines at the Frontiers of Nanoscale Thermodynamics

             – The Seventh Annual Workshop


20 - 29 July 2022

Information Engines at the Frontiers of Nanoscale Thermodynamics 2022

            Telluride Science Research Center

Co-Organizers: Fabio Anza (UW), Korana Burke (UC Davis), James P. Crutchfield (UC Davis), and Sebastian Deffner (UMBC)

COVID-19 Guidlines

We are committed to making this workshop safe and enjoyable for all participants. We wish to be a vaccinated community. Please bring proof of vaccination (including all boosters available in your local community). Due to increasing cases and the presence of highly contagious COVID-19 variants, we request that all participants get tested when they arrive and retest three days later. We acquired two antigen tests for each participant. You can pick these up at check in. We also request that all participants wear masks whenever possible indoors. We will have masks available for our workshop in case you forget yours. If anyone tests positive and so misses the workshop, we will have ways to participate remotely.

Background & Goals

Synthetic nanoscale machines, like their macromolecular biological counterparts, perform tasks that involve the simultaneous manipulation of energy, information, and matter. In this they are information engines—systems with two inextricably intertwined characters. The first aspect, call it “physical”, is the one in which the system—seen embedded in a material substrate—is driven by, manipulates, stores, and dissipates energy. The second aspect, call it “informational”, is the one in which the system—seen in terms of its spatial and temporal organization—generates, stores, loses, and transforms information. Information engines operate by synergistically balancing both aspects to support a given functionality, such as extracting work from a heat reservoir.

Recent years witnessed remarkable progress in the theoretical understanding and experimental exploration of how physical systems compute, process, and transfer information. We are on the verge of a synthesis that will allow us to account for a new thermodynamics of information. As we continue to develop a deeper understanding of the world around us, the fundamental question arises, How does nature compute? Numerous researchers, both theorists and experimentalists, are working towards understanding how information is transferred through and transformed at the nanoscale—with applications ranging from biological systems to quantum devices.

The aim of this workshop is to exchange ideas from research in Nonequilibrium Thermodynamics, Classical and Quantum Information, Statistical Mechanics, Biophysics, and Nonlinear Dynamics. These questions are relevant in a wide variety of fields including Nanoscale Statistical Mechanics, Finite-Time Thermodynamics, Quantum Thermodynamics, Quantum Computation, Quantum Communication, Quantum Optimal Control Theory, and Biological Physics.

Topical Areas

This workshop aims to address the following topics:

  1. 1.What does it mean for a system to be an information engine?

  2. 2.What is the interplay between energy, entropy, and information generation, storage and transfer?

  3. 3.What are the latest developments in the area of the thermodynamics of quantum computation?

  4. 4.How do biological systems transfer and process information?

  5. 5.What are the latest experimental developments in both biological and nanoscale information engines?

Register: Closed