Supervisors: Terry Rudolph, David Jennings
Host at Tokyo University: Takahiro Sagawa 

Work Extraction From Quantum Systems

Thermodynamics is one of the oldest and most well established areas of physics, dating back as early as the 17th century. It is the study of heat and its relation to other energy forms such as work, and it employs statistical methods to describe macroscopic systems and their average properties such as entropy and temperature. This intrinsic macroscopicity might suggest that thermodynamics as we know it is not applicable to quantum systems. Yet, there is a large desire to define and understand concepts such as heat and work on the quantum scale in order to keep up the rapid advances in nanotechnology, as well as foster progress in other fields such as microbiology. Most importantly though, it would provide us with new insights into fundamental physics.

My own research is focussed on further bridging the gap between classical and quantum thermodynamics. My current main interests are work extraction processes and finding a more operational definition for work at the quantum scale. I am also interested in closely related topics such as quantum heat engines, fluctuation theorems, and feedback control.

More recently I have also become interested in artificial intelligence and machine learning, both in their relation to thermodynamics and statistical mechanics, but also for their own sake.


Quasi-autonomous quantum thermal machines and quantum to classical energy flow, Max F. Frenzel, David Jennings, and Terry Rudolph 2016 New J. Phys. 18 023037

Reexamination of pure qubit work extraction, Max F Frenzel, David Jennings, and Terry Rudolph 2014 Phys. Rev. E 90, 052136

Matrix product state representation without explicit local Hilbert space truncation with applications to the sub-ohmic spin-boson model, Max F Frenzel and Martin B Plenio 2013 New J. Phys. 15 073046


Atoms and Photons - Their Interaction Dynamics, Max F. Frenzel  arXiv:1212.4339 


Autonomous quantum thermal machines and quantum to classical energy flow, University of Tokyo, Japan, 5 October 2015

Reexamination of Pure Qubit Work Extraction, Centre for Quantum Technologies, Singapore, 13 February 2015

Reexamination of Pure Qubit Work Extraction, Oxford University, UK, 20 October 2014

Reexamination of Pure Qubit Work Extraction, University of Tokyo, Japan, 18 July 2014

Pure Qubit Work Extraction Revisited, Imperial College London, UK, 4 June 2014

Work Extraction From Quantum Systems, Imperial College London, UK, 26 September 2013

Truncation-free Matrix Product States and Applications to the Spin Boson Model, University of Ulm, Germany, 31 July 2013


Reexamination of Pure Qubit Work Extraction, Winter School on Physics of Small Quantum Systems: Thermal and Topological Phenomena (Helsinki, Finland, 12-16 January 2015)

Information Thermodynamics on Quantum NetworksJSPS Summer Program 2014 (SOKENDAI, Japan, 11-16 June 2014)

Pure Qubit Work Extraction RevisitedQuantum Information Processing QIP 2014 (Barcelona, Spain, 3-7 February 2014)

Pure Qubit Work Extraction RevisitedThermodynamics in the quantum regime (Berlin, Germany, 20-24 January 2014)

Extracting Work From Quantum SystemsQuICC Summer School 2013 (Imperial College London, UK, 26-29 August 2013)


JSPS Postdoctoral Fellowship (short-term), University of Tokyo, Japan, 1 September 2015 - 31 July 2016

JSPS Summer Research Fellow 2014, University of Tokyo, Japan, 17 June - 19 August 2014


Numerical Methods in MATLAB (Teaching a 9 hour lecture course for MSc Physics Students), Imperial College London, UK, February - March 2014

Organiser of

ColLoQuI (Colleges of London Quantum Information) Workshops, since March 2014

QuICC Summer School 2013, Imperial College London, 26-29 August 2013