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Resource theories of knowledge and applications to thermodynamics

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Inspired by quantum information approaches to thermodynamics, we introduce a general framework for resource theories, from the perspective of subjective agents.

First we formalize a way to think of subjective knowledge through what we call specification spaces, where states of knowledge (or specifications) are represented by sets whose elements are the possible states of reality admitted by an observer. We explore how to conciliate different views of reality via embeddings between specification spaces. Then we introduce resource theories on specification spaces, which are constructed from a set of allowed operations, imposing a pre-order structure in the specification space. We see how to relate, combine and create different resource theories. The local structure of a specification space (which in quantum theory is given by tensoring different Hilbert spaces) is not assumed a priori. Instead, we derive it operationally from commutativity relations in the set of transformations. Further applications are discussed.

This talk is part of the CQIF Seminar series.

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