Classical and quantum thermodynamical frameworks for understanding off-equilibrium properties of living systems

'Quantum thermodynamics' and 'Thermodynamics of small systems' are exciting new areas of fundamental research, which may help explain how life maintains its highly ordered, low entropy, dynamical state.

Start date
1 October 2020
Duration
3 years
Application deadline
Funding information

The studentship fully covers all academic fees with a stipend of £15,285 per annum for UK/EU students

Funding for future years will be subjected to the UKRI increase.

About

'Quantum thermodynamics' and 'Thermodynamics of small systems' are exciting new areas of fundamental research, which may help explain how life maintains its highly ordered, low entropy, dynamical state.

By assuming an open system in contact with a heat bath, the two scenarios are expected to produce non-ordinary thermodynamical properties, under the form of non-standard fluctuation-dissipation relations and entropy functions. The student will analyse the emergent off-equilibrium dynamics in both cases and identify criteria to distinguish between them. 

This project will pave the way to understanding the difference between living and non-living matter, addressing fundamental questions in both physics and biology.

Related links
Dr Andrea Rocco Jim Al-Khalili Leverhulme Quantum Biology Doctoral Training Centre

Eligibility criteria

BSc/Masters. This is a theoretical physics research project. The candidate should be a physicist with strong analytical and numerical skills. Previous knowledge of any of path integral techniques, open quantum systems approaches, statistical mechanics and thermodynamics is an advantage, though not a requirement.

UK and EU students only will be funded, overseas students will need to source their own funding

English language requirements: IELTS overall score of 6.5 or above with a minimum of 6.0 in each component (or equivalent).

How to apply

To apply for this studentship:

  1. Firstly apply for the Biosciences and Medicine PhD.  
  2. During your application, please mention your desire to apply to this studentship in order to be considered.  
  3. When the system asks you to add your ‘Research Project’ please copy and paste the project description of the project you wish to apply for.

Application deadline

Contact details

Andrea Rocco
30 AX 01
Telephone: +44 (0)1483 686424
E-mail: A.Rocco@surrey.ac.uk

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