The new quantum technologies require the creation of quantum thermodynamics to describe the operation of quantum machines, and new instrumentation to verify, validate and control the operation of the machines. Just as classical thermodynamics was discovered, and instrumentation refined, through observations on actual machines, the development of quantum thermodynamics leads to the discovery of the principles governing it, enabling refining our instrumentation. Quantum thermodynamics acknowledges the insufficiency of conventional equilibrium-physics for quantum technologies. Statistical fluctuations in single quantum systems satisfy new laws known as quantum fluctuation theorems. Unlike classical thermodynamics, quantum properties cannot be measured—and work determined—without any perturbation to the dynamics. In this Special Issue, we aim to highlight the theoretical and experimental work in this field, while also providing an account of the challenges and future prospects, with Original Research, Reviews, and Perspective articles.
Associate Editor: Halina Rubinsztein-Dunlop, University of Queensland