Research Fellows Directory
Dr David Jennings
University of Oxford
My research involves the study of quantum information and its applications to different areas of physics. In particular, a good deal of my recent work has concerned the application of quantum information theory to thermodynamics.
There are both practical motivations as well as foundational motivations for this. With technology pushing into ever-more quantum-mechanical regimes we are increasingly faced with questions such as: what thermodynamic principles operate in such regimes? And how can we put these principles to information-theoretic and technological uses? Remarkably, with collaborators at Imperial I have been able to show that traditional concepts of "free" or "ordered" energy are insufficient to describe quantum-mechanical phenomena in thermodynamics. A good deal of my work has therefore involved teasing this out and trying to unravel its many consequences.
Central to my work is the theory of quantum information, which describes the ways in which abstract information (ordered patterns) may be encoded and manipulated within exotic physical regimes. Since information doesn't care what particular material it is encoded in, we are forced to develops concepts that are "substrate independent". It is this feature peculiar feature that allows such applications to thermodynamics - a theory which itself makes statements about all forms of matter and has universal validity.
Interests and expertise (Subject groups)