II Workshop on Quantum Information and Thermodynamics – IIP Natal – 11 to 22/03


Official website:



During the last decades, the field known as Quantum Thermodynamics has attracted high interest from the scientific community, not only from physicists, but also from computer science and engineering. The recent litereature witnessed a significant increase in the volume of articles on the thermodynamics of small systems, where quantum mechanics become important, as well as on the dynamics of quantum systems out of thermodynamic equilibrium.

Another field of great interest is the so-called quantum information theory, that has been established as a new and influential field of research over the past two decades. Given its highly interdisciplinary nature, it is a clear consensus within and outside the quantum information community that the tools developed over the last years will have a long-term impact in many branches of science.

The present event lies in the interface of such fields. More specifically, the application of the tools derived from quantum information theory to the field of quantum thermodynamics, a line of research that has immensely helped in the understanding of the basic principles of physics and has led us to the development and extensions of the laws thermodynamics to the quantum domain. Therefore, the field of quantum thermodynamics, as seem from the lenses of quantum information, will be the main guideline for the present programme.

The main themes of the conference are: Quantum Information, Quantum Statistical Mechanics, Quantum many-body systems and Quantum Open Systems.

Post-doc positions @ IIP

The International Institute of Physics of the Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte (IIP-UFRN) is expecting to fill two post-doctoral research positions in the fields of theoretical Quantum Information, Quantum Causality and Foundations of Quantum Mechanics. One of the positions will be funded by IIP-UFRN while the other position is part of the project “Q-CAUSAL – Causality in the quantum world: harnessing quantum effects in causal inference problems” funded by the Templeton Foundation.

Successful candidates should demonstrate a high level of expertise and strong academic record working within these or closely related areas. Candidates with a good knowledge of machine learning and convex optimization techniques are specially welcome. The research will be pursued in close collaboration with the experimental group of Prof. Fabio Sciarrino at the University La Sapienza (Rome, Italy). Strong ability of a candidate to conduct interdisciplinary research in those and the other fields of research at IIP will be considered as an additional merit by the Selection Committee.

The starting date for the positions can be negotiated but is expected to be in the period between March 2019 and June 2019. The post-doctoral appointments will be for two years (possibly extendible to one more year depending on mutual agreement) with a tax free monthly salary of R$ 7.000,00 (seven thousand Brazilian Reais).

Interested candidates should send their CV with a list of publications, a short research statement and at least two letters of reference (in English) to Prof. Rafael Chaves (qipositions@iip.ufrn.br).

The IIP-UFRN is located in the city of Natal in the Northeast of Brazil. It is a research institute of an international character, focused on the theoretical research in the modern areas of fundamental physics. Aiming at a leading role in the region, the Institute supports vast exchange, visitor and conference programs. For more information on our research and other academic activities please check our website at www.iip.ufrn.br/qiqm

Mini course on quantum optics. Prof. Cecilia Cormick, Feb 12-14 @ IFUSP

Prof. Cecilia Cormick will be teaching a 3-day mini-course on quantum optics, light-atom interactions and trapped ions, @ IFUSP between Feb 12 and 14, 2019. Anyone interested in participating is more than welcome to join. Students from USP can also earn credits from it. For more information, see the course’s official website at:


Where: Seminar room @ Ed. Alessandro Volta, Bloco C, IFUSP.

 – Lectures Tuesday (12), Wednesday (13) and Thursday (14) from 10:00 to 13:00.
– Informal discussions in the afternoon, from 16:00 to 17:00.

Goal: The goal of the course is to give the students a general overview of standard theoretical tools in the field of quantum optics. These are to a large extent independent of the concrete physical system in mind and are essential for an understanding of several applications related with the control of quantum systems. The case of atoms interacting with light fields will be treated in more detail as a concrete implementation.

Syllabus: Interaction between atoms and the quantized electromagnetic field. Cavity QED. Wigner-Weisskopf theory of spontaneous emission. Treatment of the atom as open quantum system, Bloch equations. Optical forces on atoms: Doppler cooling, radiation pressure, optical potentials. Sub-Doppler cooling. Basic principles of ion trapping. Internal and external degrees of freedom in systems of trapped ions. Sideband cooling. Laser control of the state of the ions. Manipulation of ions for quantum computing purposes.

Previous knowledge assumed: General notions of quantum mechanics, including Dirac notation and density matrix formalism. General notions of atomic physics.

Lecture 1: General (and fast) description of atom-light interactions:

– Semiclassical treatment, weak coupling, rotating wave approximation. Two-level atom: Rabi oscillations, AC Stark shift.
– Quantized electromagnetic field, definitions without derivation.
– Interaction between atoms and quantized field: Jaynes-Cummings model, Wigner-Weisskopf theory.
– Master-equation description of spontaneous emission. Bloch equations: evolution and sta- tionary state.

Lecture 2: Optical forces on atoms:
 – Radiation pressure and Doppler cooling.
– Subdoppler cooling with Sisyphus effect.
– Magneto-optical traps.
– Atoms in optical lattices.

Lecture 3: Trapped ions:
 – Basic principles of Penning and Paul traps.
– Internal and external degrees of freedom of a single ion.
– Manipulation with lasers: sideband cooling, single-qubit gates.
– Description of a system of several ions.
– Basic elements for quantum information processing with trapped ions.

Additional topics included in the problems:
– Adiabatic elimination procedure.
– “Forbidden” transitions through two-photon processes.
– Optical pumping.

Recommended reading:
For the level of the crash-course (not necessarily the best material, rather the most acces- sible):

• M. Lukin, notes for the course “Modern Atomic and Optical Physics II” (Harvard), available at http://lukin.physics.harvard.edu/teaching/

• M. Fox, “Quantum Optics” (Oxford University Press).

• C. Gerry and P. Knight, “Introductory Quantum Optics” (Cambridge University Press).

At a more advanced level (and more reliable as reference material):

• R. Loudon, “The Quantum Theory of Light” (Oxford University Press).

• D. F. Walls and G. F. Milburn, “Quantum Optics” (Springer).

• M. Scully and M. S. Zubairy, “Quantum Optics” (Cambridge University Press).

• C. Cohen-Tannoudji, J. Dupont-Roc, and G. Grynberg, “Atom-Photon Interactions” (Wiley).

Short bio: Prof. Cecilia Cormick

I studied physics at the University of Buenos Aires, and I did my diploma thesis on phase-space representations for quantum computing, under the supervision of Juan Pablo Paz. After that I stayed in the same group for my PhD, which focused on decoherence problems from a theoretical approach. By the end I was eager to get closer to actual experiments so I moved towards quantum optics during my postdoctoral stays in Germany (first Saarbrücken with Giovanna Morigi, then Ulm in the group of Martin Plenio). There I worked mostly on the theoretical description of systems of trapped ions for quantum information and simulation purposes, but I also did some more general stuff related with spectroscopy or quantum state engineering. At the end of 2014 I returned to Argentina and settled at the University of Cordoba, where I work as tenured researcher and assistant professor. In the last years, although I haven’t abandoned my older topics, my lines of research have shifted gradually towards the area of quantum statistical mechanics, in particular to phase transitions and systems of composite bosons.

This course is funded by the graduate-program at IFUSP and is a part of an initiative to promote short courses on advanced research topics, taught by experts from other institutions in Brazil and abroad.

Congratulations Young Fellows!

The Brazilian Academy of Science (Academia Brasileira de Ciências) has just released the new members. One interesting class, created about 10 years ago, is the Affiliated Member (Membro Afiliado), which lasts for five years and focus on young promising scientists. In physics, São Paulo state has just elected five new Affiliated Members, three of them our SPN off QuBIT fellows Diogo de Oliveira Soares Pinto (USP), Gustavo Wiederhecker  (Unicamp), and  Thiago Pedro Mayer Alegre (Unicamp).

Congratulation, guys! Let us celebrate during our December Meeting.

Postdoctoral position in Quantum Information Science at the Centre for Quantum Technologies and Yale-NUS College, Singapore

A postdoctoral position in the field of Quantum Information Science is available at the Centre for Quantum Technologies (CQT), National University of Singapore, and Yale-NUS College (joint affiliation). The research focus is on theoretical studies of quantum error correction and fault tolerance, with a particular focus on applications in realistic quantum computing systems. This can include considerations for noise models relevant for current systems in the race for quantum computers, non-Markovian noise, thermodynamical analyses of noise removal procedures, etc.

The candidate should have a strong background in theoretical physics, possess numerical skills, and have an interest in understanding experimental work relevant to quantum computation. PhD work in quantum computing or quantum information related research is expected. Past experience with quantum error correction and fault tolerance, and/or the study of physical noise models will be a strong plus point.

The position commences in the first half of 2019 (negotiable), and is for two years. An extension into a third year may be possible depending on funding availability. The successful candidate will work in the group of Hui Khoon Ng, an Assistant Professor (Physics) at Yale-NUS College, and a CQT Fellow at the Centre for Quantum Technologies. The postdoc can expect many opportunities to work with graduate and undergraduate students within the group. Please refer to the group website for more information: http://quantum-nghk.commons.yale-nus.edu.sg.

Interested applicants, please contact H. K. Ng directly at cqtnhk@nus.edu.sg, with a statement of interest and a detailed curriculum vitae.

CQT (http://www.quantumlah.org) is a National Research Centre of Excellence hosted at the National University of Singapore. The Centre comprises some 150 research staff and students, working in all areas of quantum information science. Yale-NUS College (http://www.yale-nus. edu.sg) is an undergraduate college, jointly founded by Yale University and the National University of Singapore, emphasizing a liberal arts and sciences education, with a commitment to building a strong research base at an early stage for science majors.