PHYS brown bag seminar: Potential and Limitations of Quantum Heat Engines
Topic presented by Kay Brandner (Quantum Transport group). Join us for science and pizza in Otakaari 1, Hall D!
The miniaturization of thermal machines is now reaching the frontiers of the quantum world. This exciting development raises the question of how quantum phenomena like coherence will affect the performance of thermal devices, such as heat engines. In this talk, I will first give a brief overview on current experimental and theoretical advances taking place at the intersection of quantum engineering and quantum thermodynamics. On the theory side, one of the most puzzling questions in this context is how to describe the impact of quantum effects on thermal engines in a quantitative and universal manner. Here, I outline two promising schemes that were recently proposed for this purpose. I will also explain their connection with general trade-off relations between typical performance benchmarks of heat engines like power and efficiency. As an outlook, I will discuss possible ways to test these concepts in solid-state experiments that are currently under way at Aalto.