Potential insights into non-equilibrium behavior from atomic physics

Austen Lamacraft, Joel Moore 2011. Contemporary Concepts in Condensed Matter Science

Abstract

This chapter seeks to outline a few basic problems in quantum statistical physics where recent experimental advances from the atomic physics community offer the hope of dramatic progress. The focus is on nonequilibrium situations where the powerful concepts and methods of equilibrium statistical physics and “linear response” theory (for small deviations from equilibrium) are not applicable. The problems discussed here are chosen in part because they have a high degree of “universality” or generality across different microscopic situations, as the major challenge in nonequilibrium statistical physics, both quantum and classical, has been to find principles as general as the basic principles of equilibrium statistical physics or linear response.