Wednesday Colloquia

When quantum mechanics and statistical mechanics get along and when they don't

by Prof. Subroto Mukerjee (IISc Bangalore)

Wednesday, September 2, 2020 from to (Asia/Kolkata)
at Lecture Theatre ( )
Online through ZOOM Webinar
Quantum mechanics and statistical mechanics underlie our understanding of the physical world. The former is a set of microscopic laws from which the latter should follow. For classical systems, arguments for the emergence of statistical mechanics date back to more than a century. For quantum systems, our understanding is much more recent going back only a couple of decades. This talk will focus on our current understanding of how statistical mechanics emerges from quantum mechanics. It will be emphasized that the Hilbert space structure of quantum mechanics is fundamental to this emergence. It will also be argued that there exist systems called many body localized systems and non-ergodic metals which are generically indescribable in terms of statistical mechanics. These have no classical counterparts and are currently the only known examples of robustly "athermal" systems in nature.