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The efficiency of small quantum heat engines

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Sadi Carnot’s theorem regarding the maximum effciency of heat engines is considered to be of fundamental importance in thermodynamics. This theorem can be derived as a consequence of the second law of thermodynamics. However, it has been shown that at the nano and quantum scale, a more refined set of second laws govern thermodynamic state transitions. Applying such generalised second laws, we show that Carnot’s theorem needs to be revised in the sense that more information about the bath other than its temperature is required to decide whether the Carnot effciency can be achieved.

This talk is part of the CQIF Seminar series.

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