Quantum Chaos and the Foundations of Statistical Mechanics

Tuesday, April 12, 2011 – 3:15pm
Reiss 502
Mark Srednicki
University of California, Santa Barbara

The question of how isolated systems come to thermal equilibrium has been debated since before the advent of quantum mechanics (which seems only to further confuse the issue). I will present a simple picture of how thermalization of isolated systems can occur, with universal properties of chaotic quantum dynamics as the underlying mechanism. A large and growing array of analytic, numerical, and experimental evidence now supports this picture.

Host: Marcos Rigol
Discussion Leader: Marcos Rigol