Thermodynamics as a Resource Theory

The Revolution will be thermalized.

Recently, there has been a shift in the way that many physicists are approaching the science of thermodynamics. Instead of regarding its laws as purely physical laws, researchers are increasingly treating the theory as a theory about how agents, such as ourselves, can use information about a physical system as a resource for extracting useful work from the system. Seen this way, investigations into the thermodynamics of quantum systems have a deep connection with work in Quantum Information Theory.

This interdisciplinary workshop that brings together philosophers and physicists to explore the philosophical and foundational implications of the resource-theoretic turn in thermodynamics.

The workshop will take place June 20-22, at the University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada, in North Campus Building Room 114.

This event will be live streamed on June 21 – 22. Please note that the first day of the conference, June 20, will not be streamed. Tune in to the Western University livestream channel on June 21, 2018 at 9:00 am EST.


Tony Bartolotta California Institute of Technology, Walter Burke Institute for Theoretical Physics

Joshua Luczak Lebniz Universität Hannover, Institute of Philosophy

Owen Maroney University of Oxford, Faculty of Philosophy

Markus Müller Austrian Academy of Sciences, Institute for Quantum Optics and Quantum Information Vienna

Wayne C. Myrvold The University of Western Ontario, Philosophy

Nelly Ng Freie Universität Berlin, Department of Physics

Carina Prunkl University of Oxford, Balliol College, Philosophy

Carlo Sparaciari  University College, London

Robert Spekkens Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, Quantum Foundations

Jos Uffink University of Minnesota, Philosophy

David Wallace University of Southern California, Philosophy

This workshop is supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, The Rotman Institute of Philosophy, The Department of Philosophy of the University of Western Ontario, the Faculty of Arts and Humanities of the University of Western Ontario, and by Graham and Gale Wright, who generously sponsor the Graham and Gale Wright Distinguished Professor Award.