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We introduce the concept of self-tuned criticality as a general mechanism for signal detection in sensory systems. In the case of hearing, we argue that active amplification of faint sounds is provided by a dynamical system that is maintained at the threshold of an oscillatory instability. This concept can account for the exquisite sensitivity of the(More)
Bundles of polar filaments which interact via active elements can exhibit complex dynamic behaviors. By using a simple and general description for the bundle dynamics, we find regimes for which density profiles propagate as solitary waves with a characteristic velocity along the bundle. These behaviors emerge from an interplay of local contractions in the(More)
The theory for current fluctuations in ac-driven transport through nanoscale systems is put forward. By use of a generalized, non-Hermitian Floquet theory we derive novel explicit expressions for the time-averaged current and the zero-frequency component of the power spectrum of current fluctuations. A distinct suppression of both the zero-frequency noise(More)
PACS. 32.80.-t – Photon interactions with atoms. PACS. 71.10.Pm – Fermions in reduced dimensions. Abstract. – We consider a system of two qubits at the ends of a finite length 1D cavity. This problem is mapped onto the double-Kondo model which is also shown to describe the low energy physics of a finite length quantum wire with resonant levels at its ends.(More)
We study the decoherence of a spin-1/2 induced by an environment which is on the verge of a continuous phase transition. We consider spin environments described by the ferromagnetic and antiferromagnetic Heisenberg models on a square lattice. As is well known, these two-dimensional systems undergo a continuous phase transition at zero temperature, where the(More)
We derive the Joule expansion of an isolated perfect gas from the principles of quantum mechanics. Contrary to most studies of irreversible processes which consider composite systems, the interesting and ignored degrees of freedom are here described by operators acting in the same many-body Hilbert space. Moreover, the expansion of the gas into the entire(More)
  • S Camalet
  • 2008
The issue of the thermalization of an isolated quantum system is addressed by considering a perfect gas confined by gravity and initially trapped above a certain height. As we are interested in the behavior of truly isolated systems, we assume the gas is in a pure state of macroscopically well-defined energy. We show that, in general, for single-particle(More)
We consider a quantum system weakly coupled to a large heat bath of harmonic oscillators. It is well known that such a boson bath initially at thermal equilibrium thermalises the system. We show that assuming a priori an equilibrium state is not necessary to obtain the thermalisation of the system. We determine the complete Schrödinger time evolution of the(More)
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