Prof. Schmiedmayer is a world leader in the experimental study of nonequilibrium many-body quantum systems, their relaxation and the quantum correlations in cold atomic gases and Bose-Einstein condenstates.
Transitions to thermal equilibrium are an everyday experience – for instance when an icicle heats up and melts. When this happens, the entropy (a measure for the disorder in a physical system) increases and information about the system is lost. The ultra cold Bose-Einstein condensates studied by Schmiedmayer also approach a thermal equilibrium but through a mechanism in which the quantum properties of the particles play a crucial role. Schmiedmayer discovered that during this transition a stable intermediate state can be found – the so-called “pre-thermalized state”, which can be described by generalized thermodynamic ensembles, also called ‘the Generalized Gibbs Ensemble’. This is a key discovery in the new field of quantum thermodynamics.
You can read more about him here.