Frontiers and Quantum Mesoscopic Thermodynamics (FQMT) Conferences

Program Summary of FQMT'11

FQMT'11 was held in Prague, Czech Republic at the Pyramida Hotel from July 25 to July 30, 2011.

As in FQMT’04 and FQMT’08, the aim of FQMT’11 was to create a bridge between the fields of modern condensed matter physics, quantum optics, statistical physics and the quickly developing field of foundations of quantum physics.

In general, the conference addressed quantum physics and non-equilibrium quantum statistical physics. The systems considered were mainly of nanoscale size. The main task of the conference was to contribute to the uncovering of possible phenomenological laws governing the behaviour of nanoscale systems, providing a better understanding and insight into the problems and interpretations of quantum physics based upon the methods of condensed matter physics, statistical physics and quantum optics.

The conference was attended by about 220 physicists from 35 countries. A total of 129 talks were delivered and about 90 poster contributions were presented. Most of the six days of the conference was organized so as to provide four single invited sessions, two during the morning and two during the afternoon in order to ensure that all participants could participate and discuss during every invited lecture. The exceptions were on Tuesday afternoon, when two parallel sessions were held, and on Wednesday, when three parallel sessions were held. The contributed papers were discussed during the late afternoon/evening poster session held in the Pyramida Hotel on Wednesday.

The organizers created a program which covered homogeneously all the following topics: Foundations of quantum physics; Non-equilibrium quantum statistical physics; Quantum thermodynamics; Quantum measurement, entanglement and coherence; Dissipation, dephasing, noise and decoherence; Quantum optics; Macroscopic quantum behaviour, e.g. cold atoms; Bose-Einstein condensates; Physics of quantum computing and quantum information; Mesoscopic, nano-electromechanical and nano-optical systems; Spin systems and their dynamics; Biological systems and molecular motors; and Cosmology, gravitation and astrophysics. In this regard, 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:

Fumio Abe, Amnon Aharony, Eric Akkermans, Yoram Alhassid, Alexander Altland, Jeremy Amstrong, Frithjof Anders, Dragos Victor Anghel, Joachim Ankerhold, Andrew Armour, Markus Aspelmeyer, Jean-Daniel Bancal, Gordon Baym, Dietrich Belitz, Wolfgang Belzig, William Blackman, Yaroslav Blanter, Immanuel Bloch, Michael Bonitz, Dirk Bouwmeester, Howard Brandt, Christoph Bruder, Howard Carmichael, Ana María Cetto, Vadim Cheianov, Raymond Chiao, Aashish Clerk, Doron Cohen, Claude Cohen-Tannoudji, Pawel Danielewicz, Luis de la Pena, Hans De Raedt, Fabrice Debbasch, Sebastian Deffner, Jorge Dukelsky, Jens Eisert, Ora Entin-Wohlman, Noam Erez, Giuseppe Falci, Radim Filip, Boris Fine, Victor Flambaum, Mark Fox, Hans Frauenfelder, James Freericks, Juerg Froehlich, Michael Galperin, Carl Gibson, Moty Heiblum, Frank Hekking, Karl Hess, Yoseph Imry, Antti-Pekka Jauho, Andrew Jordan, Peter Keefe, Andrei Khrennikov, Ted Kirkpatrick, Hagen Kleinert, Stefan Klumpp, Jens Koch, Sigmund Kohler, Dietrich Kremp, Gershon Kurizki, Paul Kwiat, Julien Laurat, Hao Liu, Miloš Lokajíček, Jerzy Łuczka, Jiří Mareš, Kristel Michielsen, Kimball Milton, Stephen Minter, Gilles Montambaux, Yuli Nazarov, Theo Nieuwenhuizen, Branislav Nikolic, Bozidar Novakovic, Tomáš Novotný, Robert O'Connell, Elisabetta Paladino, Anil Patnaik, Francesco Petruccione, Igor Pikovski, Arkady Plotnitsky, Timothy Ralph, Helmut Rauch, Martin Rees, Linda Reichl, Stephanie Reimann, Alex Retzker, Alessandro Romito, Yuri Rostovtsev, Miguel Rubi, Ines Safi, Barry Sanders, Bruno Sanguinetti, Lea Santos, Stefano Sanvito, Rafael Sánchez, Rudy Schild, Avraham Schiller, Thomas Schmidt, Peter Schmitteckert, Gerd Schön, Ralf Schuetzhold, Lawrence Schulman, Tamar Seideman, Udo Seifert, Daniel Sheehan, Pascal Simon, Joshua Slater, Fernando Sols, Eugene Sukhorukov, Čestmír Šimáně, Václav Špička, Fabio Taddei, Thomas Udem, Sense Jan van der Molen, Denis Vion, Thomas Vojta, Jan von Delft, Andreas Wacker, Gregor Weihs, Ulrich Weiss, Andrew White, Howard Wiseman, Andrei Zaikin, Anton Zeilinger, and Peter Zoller.

On this occasion let us mention that at the FQMT’11 conference Professor Čestmír Šimáně gave his last talk. His article in this special topical issue of Physica Scripta is his final contribution to physics and to his extensive list of papers. He passed away 26 July 2012 at the age of 93. Čestmír Šimáně, a student of the Nobel laureate Frederic Joliot-Curie, was one of the founders of Czech nuclear research. His research activities were focused on experimental nuclear physics, especially on the construction and use of accelerators and radiation detectors. He was the first director of the Nuclear Physics Institute of the Academy of Sciences in Řež, near Prague, where he was active as a senior scientist until his death.

Of the special events connected to the conference, we notably mention: the traditional FQMT conference reception in the garden of the Wallenstein Palace on Monday; the evening lecture by Martin Rees in the Saint Šimon and Juda Church followed by a concert of classical music and by an exceptional night visit (with a short organ concert) at the Týn Church (where Tycho Brahe is buried) on Tuesday; a jazz concert in the Pyramida Hotel on Wednesday, the evening lecture by Claude Cohen-Tannoudji followed by a classical concert in the Dvořák‘s Hall of the Rudolfinum on Thursday; and the conference dinner on the last evening in the Vikárka Restaurant located at the Prague Castle, during which participants could also listen to a concert of classical music in the Saint Vitus Cathedral. There were several exceptionally notable moments related to these events: the presentation of the special medal of the Senate of the Czech Republic to Martin Rees by the Vice President of the Senate, Mrs. Alena Gajdůšková, before his public lecture, which was introduced by the President of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Prof. Jiří Drahoš, and by the British ambassador in Prague, Mrs. Sian MacLeod; the presentation of the special medal of the Senate of the Czech Republic to Claude Cohen-Tannoudji by the President of the Senate, Mr. Milan Štěch, in the Dvořák’s Hall of the Rudolfinum, and the welcome address of the Prague archbishop, Dominik Cardinal Duka, in the Saint Vitus Cathedral of the Prague Castle before the concert of classical music.

In summary, we experienced a conference at a very high scientific level, all the while in a very warm atmosphere enhanced by the many artistic riches of Prague. It was broadly supported, on the one hand, by Czech institutions and, on the other hand, by the participants, who graciously used their means for this aim. The event proved to be very valuable for the scientific climate in the Czech Republic, and the organizers express their gratitude for the support extended by leading Czech institutions, which certainly contributed to the high level and good atmosphere of the conference.

Theo M. Nieuwenhuizen, Peter D. Keefe and Václav Špička