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Condensed Matter and Statistical Physics Journal Club

Talk Details

Title The quantum refrigerator: The quest for absolute zero
Speaker Abhay Parvate
Date Mon, 28 Jun 2010
Time 14:30
Venue A 304


The emergence of the laws of thermodynamics from the laws of quantum mechanics is an unresolved issue. The generation of the third law of thermodynamics from quantum dynamics is analyzed [in the context of a particular model]. The scaling of the optimal cooling power of a reciprocating quantum refrigerator is sought as a function of the cold bath temperature as Tc -> 0. The working medium consists of noninteracting particles in a harmonic potential. Two closed-form solutions of the refrigeration cycle are analyzed, and compared to a numerical optimization scheme, focusing on cooling toward zero temperature. The optimal cycle is characterized by linear relations between the heat extracted from the cold bath, the energy level spacing of the working medium and the temperature. The scaling of the optimal cooling rate is found to be proportional to $T_c^{3/2}$ giving a dynamical interpretation to the third law of thermodynamics.

Reference: Rezek, Salamon, Hoffmann, and Kosloff, Euro phys. Lett. 85 (2009) 30008.