Frontiers and Quantum Mesoscopic Thermodynamics (FQMT) Conferences

Program Summary of FQMT'13

FQMT'13 was held in Prague, Czech Republic at the Pyramida Hotel from 29 July - 3 August 2013.

FQMT’13 was a follow-up to the three previous, successful Prague conferences “Frontiers of Quantum and Mesoscopic Thermodynamics 2004” (FQMT’04), FQMT’08 and FQMT’11. As in all previous FQMT conferences, the aim of FQMT’13 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 195 physicists from 34 countries. A total of 136 talks were delivered and 61 poster contributions were presented. The conference was organized so as to provide plenary invited sessions every day morning and also on Monday and Saturday afternoon. In the rest of the regular conference program, two or 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 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; Biological systems, molecular motors; 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 the FQMT’13 conference was dedicated to the memory of Avi Schiller. Avi participated in several FQMT conferences, and he planned to attend the FQMT’13. Please read also a special page of this volume devoted to Avi Schiller.

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 Serge Haroche in the Dvořák‘s Hall of the Rudolfinum followed by a concert of classical music on Tuesday; two inspiring special lectures given by Roland Allen and Axel Beyer, followed by an evening jazz concert in the Pyramida Hotel on Wednesday; the evening lecture by Pavel Kroupa followed by a classical concert in the St. Simon and Juda Church on Thursday; and the conference dinner on the last evening in Archbishop's Palace located near 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 Serge Haroche by President of the Senate, Mr. Milan Štěch in the Dvořák’s Hall of the Rudolfinum, before his public lecture, the presentation of the special medal of the Senate of the Czech Republic to Pavel Kroupa by the Vice President of the Senate, Mrs. Alena Gajdůšková in the Saint Simon and Juda Church before his public lecture and the welcome address of the Archbishop of Prague, Dominik Cardinal Duka, in the Saint Vitus Cathedral of the Prague Castle before the concert of classical music.

Particularly, it is worth to mention a series of very exceptional events: a special session on foundations of quantum mechanics, chaired by Serge Haroche, was held on Monday afternoon to celebrate Roger Balian’s 80th birthday. The celebration continued later on during the Welcome party in the Wallenstein Palace Garden. Roger Balian also received the highest of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, the ‘De Scientia et Humanitate Optime Meritis’ medal which was presented to him by Professor Jiří Drahoš, the President of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic in Dvořák’s Hall of Rudolfinum on Tuesday.

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