Maxwell's Demon in the Quantum World

Maxwell's Demon is a theoretical construct introduced by James Clerk Maxwell in an attempt to understand the microscopic foundations of the second law of thermodynamics. Maxwell's thought experiment points to a subtle relationship between thermodynamics and information, and has provided food for thought for generations of physicists. Recent years have seen a resurgence of interest in this topic, in part due to advances in experimental tools for manipulating nanoscale systems. The Viewpoint essay by  Alumnus Jordan Horowitz, '10, and  Juan Parrondo discusses a Physical Review Letter on the interplay between Maxwell's demon and quantum mechanics, highlighting the effects introduced by the quantum statistics of fermions and bosons. This research elegantly combines information theory, the second law of thermodynamics and quantum behavior.

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UMD-PERG Cited as Exemplary Research Group in Science's Education Forum Section

Howard Hughes Medical Institute professors, in their article Changing the Culture of Science Education at Research Universities (Science, 14 January, 2011, v331, p152-153), cite the University of Maryland Physics Education Research Group as one of few groups integrating basic education research with efforts to improve undergraduate science education.

UMD Physicists Chosen as AAAS Fellows

Richard Greene and Hassan Jawahery have been named Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Election as a Fellow is an honor bestowed upon AAAS member by their peers.

The tradition of AAAS Fellows began in 1874. Currently, members can be considered for the rank of Fellow if nominated by the steering groups of the Association’s 24 sections, or by any three Fellows who are current AAAS members (so long as two of the three sponsors are not affiliated with nominee’s institution) , or by the AAAS chief executive officer.

Professor Greene was honored for his distinguished contributions to the field of experimental condensed matter physics, particularly for discovery of superconductivity and other novel physics in organic and copper oxide materials.

Professor Jawahery was honored for his contributions to the understanding of the physics of the bottom quark and of the differences between matter and antimatter.

New fellows will be presented with an official certificate and rosette on Saturday, February 19, during the AAAS Fellow Forum in Washington, DC.

For more information regarding the non-profit AAAS, visit

UMD Physicists Chosen as 2010 APS Fellows

The American Physical Society (APS) has awarded the distinction of Fellow to four members of the University of Maryland physics faculty:

Paulo Bedaque, for pioneering contributions to several distinct areas of theoretical nuclear physics, including effective field theories in few-body physics, the phase structure of dense quark matter, and nuclear forces from lattice QCD.

Michael Fuhrer, for experimental studies of the electronic transport properties of carbon nanotubes and graphene.

Eun-Suk Seo, for leading the development and utilization of particle detectors for balloon and space-based experiments to understand cosmic ray origin, acceleration and propagation, especially as Principal Investigator of the Cosmic Ray Energetics And Mass balloon-borne experiment over Antarctica.

Greg Sullivan, for contributions to the field of experimental elementary particle physics including contributions to the discovery of the top-quark at the Fermilab tevatron and new properties of neutrinos using Super Kamiokande-I, and for the development of experimental techniques in neutrino detection with the Super Kamiokande-I and IceCube detectors.

In addition, Ichiro Takeuchi, an engineering professor who is also an affiliate of the Center for Nanophysics & Advanced Materials, was elected for pioneering contributions to the creation of novel classes of materials using combinatorial synthesis and probing their properties using novel probes.

Founded in 1899, the APS is the world's second largest organization of physicists. Fellows are recognized by their peers for advances made in knowledge, through original research and publications.