Abstract: We will explore thermodynamics in the setting of finite-space Markov chains. Such models are interesting in three ways. From a practical point of view, they correspond to "coarse-graining" of real physical models. From a logical point of view, they are the finite models of the theory of thermodynamics --- many proofs in this finite setting extend naturally to the general setting. From a pedagogical point of view, interesting results can be proved without requiring the prerequisites of measure theory and Brownian motion. In this setting, we will explore some ideas from stochastic thermodynamics and information theory, and connections between the two.
Dr. Manoj Gopalkrishnan will be delivering a short course of two lectures on "Discrete Thermodynamics." The lectures will be held on Wednesday May 21 and Friday May 23, from 1600 to 1700 hours in D-405.