Condensed Matter Physics Seminar

Dr Janet Anders, University of Exeter

Friday 13 March 2015, 1500-1600
C1 Physics Building

The power of entanglement: Computation, Phase transitions and the 2nd law

Entanglement are counterintuitive correlations that can only occur in the quantum regime. They are associated with the violation of Bell's inequality a testable statement about reality. I will give an overview of a range of phenomena where entanglement plays a role. Of course, entanglement is seen as a resource for quantum computation and secure communication. The appearance of entanglement can also mark the establishment of qualitatively different behaviour. Examples are the formation of a Bose-Einstein condensate in a Bose gas and the occurrence of a quantum phase transition in experiments with ion chains. Finally, I will discuss claims that in thermodynamics the presence of entanglement can lead to a violation of the second law. I will clarify why these claims are erroneous and show how a consistent treatment of correlations in this thermodynamical context resolves the paradoxical situation.