Performance of quantum heat engine cycles at strong reservoir coupling


Wednesday, Feb 6th 2019, 04:00 PM, MAPTC/0G/006

Speaker: A. Nazir (Manchester Univ).

We study both infinite time and finite time quantum heat engine cycles at strong coupling between the system and the thermal reservoirs. Exploiting a collective coordinate mapping, we incorporate system-reservoir correlations into a consistent thermodynamic analysis, thus circumventing the usual restriction to weak coupling and vanishing correlations. We first apply our formalism to the example of an infinite time quantum Otto cycle, demonstrating that the performance of the engine is diminished in the strong coupling regime with respect to its weakly coupled counterpart. For finite time cycles, we find that strong system-reservoir coupling can conversely be beneficial, at least in terms of maximising power output. Nevertheless, we show that the finite time strongly coupled engine is still hampered by a distinctly quantum effect, generating a lower power output at a smaller efficiency when compared with a strongly coupled dephased engine in which some quantum coherence is removed.

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