Frontiers and Quantum Mesoscopic Thermodynamics (FQMT) Conferences

Program Summary of FQMT'04

FQMT'04 was held in Prague, Czech Republic from July 26 to July 29, 2004.

At that time experimental and theoretical achievements of condensed matter physics had revealed an increasing importance of understanding the physics of very small and low dimensional systems. Issues related to quantum dephasing, thermodynamics and the measurement process had a tremendous impact in new emerging fields of condensed matter physics, e.g., quantum information processing and coherence phenomena in nanoscale and low-dimensional systems. Together with these developments, discussions related to the quantum and mesoscopic thermodynamics had naturally emerged. The FQMT'04 conference brought together leading scientists and junior researchers working on these closely related areas of condensed matter physics and statistical mechanics. The intent was to discuss hot topics and future directions in these fields, as well as to establish collaborations and connections among seemingly independent communities.

The conference was attended by about 110 physicists from 22 countries. A total of 86 contributions were presented. Each of the four days of the conference was organized to have four single invited sessions, two during morning, two during afternoon to ensure that all participants can participate and discuss during the every invited lecture. The contributed papers were discussed within the late afternoon/evening poster session held in the Masaryk Residence Halls on Wednesday.

The organizers created a program which covered homogeneously all the following topics: Quantum, mesoscopic and (partly) classical thermodynamics, Quantum limits to the second law, Quantum measurement, Quantum decoherence and dephasing , Mesoscopic and nanomechanical systems, Classical molecular motors, ratchet systems and rectified motion, Quantum Brownian motion, Quantum motors, Physics of quantum computing, and Relevant experiments from the nano-scale to the macro-scale.

While inviting speakers, the organizers tried to reach "equilibrium" between theoretically and experimentally orientated talks to motivate the discussion between experimentalists and theorists as much as possible. The following leading experts accepted the invitation of the Scientific Committee, delivered their lectures and discussed lively hot problems of statistical and condensed matter physics during the whole conference:

A. Aharony, A. E. Allahverdyan, B. L. Altshuler, Y. Avishai, R. Balian, J. Berger, M. P. Blencowe, T. Brandes, M. Büttiker, A. O. Caldeira, D. Cohen, J. Gemmer, H. Grabert, M. Grifoni, D. Gross, F. Haake, P. Hänggi, T. Heikkila, U. Hohenester, G. L. Ingold, E. Kamenetskii, P. D. Keefe, A. Khrennikov, J. Kivioja, S. Klumpp, A. J. Leggett, H. Linke, A. MacKinnon, G. Mahler, H. Mooij, Th. M. Nieuwenhuizen, A. V. Nikulov, R. F. O'Connell, E. Paladino, J. Pekola, Yu. V. Rostovtsev, S. Rotter, G. Schön, L. S. Schulman, K. Schwab, M. O. Scully, T. Seideman, D. P. Sheehan, E. Sukhorukov, V. ©pièka, P. Tombesi, U. Weiss, A. Zaikin, A. Zeilinger.

Of the special events connected to the conference, we may mention: a lunch with senators; a press conference where a selected group of participants, notably Tony Leggett, were interviewed; the Monday afternoon session on Quantum Thermodynamics devoted to the memory of Vladislav Èápek, whose efforts were recalled in the opening lecture by Theo; the reception in the garden of the Palace; the evening lecture by Nobel Laureate Tony Leggett; the conference dinner on the last evening. A truly unusual event was the standing ovation at the opening of Václav's lecture, expressing gratitude for the large efforts he had made for the case of each and every participant. Last but not least, there was, of course, the marvelous surrounding of the city of Prague.

We had a conference at a very high scientific level in a very warm atmosphere. It was broadly supported on the one hand by Czech institutions and on the other hand by the participants, who decided to use their personal means for this aim. It was very valuable for the scientific climate in the Czech Republic. The organizers were grateful for support by leading Czech institutions. This certainly helped to reach the high level and good atmosphere of the conference.

Theo M. Nieuwenhuizen, Peter D. Keefe, and Václav ©pièka