Time-optimal controls for frictionless cooling in harmonic traps
Institut für Physik, Technische Universität Chemnitz - D-09107 Chemnitz, Germany
2 Department of Mathematical Sciences, San Diego State University - San Diego, CA 92182-7720, USA
3 Fritz Haber Research Center for Molecular Dynamics, Hebrew University of Jerusalem Jerusalem 91904, Israel
Accepted: 14 November 2011
Fast adiabatic cooling procedures have important implications for the attainability of absolute zero. While traditionally adiabatically cooling a system is associated with slow thermal processes, for the parametric quantum harmonic oscillator fast frictionless processes are known, which transfer a system from an initial thermal equilibrium at one temperature into thermal equilibrium at another temperature. This makes such systems special tools in analyzing the bounds on fast cooling procedures. Previous discussions of those systems used frictionless cooling assuming real frequencies of the oscillator. Using a control with imaginary frequencies (repulsive potential) revises previous implications for the possible operation of a quantum refrigerator. Here we discuss these requisite revisions in the context of the third law of thermodynamics. In addition to minimum time controls, which are always of the bang-bang form, fast frictionless processes with a continuous variation of the frequency have been presented previously in the literature. Such continuous variation controls have been experimentally verified by cooling a Bose-Einstein condensate, while minimum time controls still await verification. As some implementations may indeed not be able to implement the instantaneous jumps in frequency required by bang-bang controls, constraining the rate of change in the frequency calls for ramped bang-bang solutions. We present such solutions and compare their performance to the continuous controls used in the experiment.
PACS: 02.30.Yy – Control theory / 05.10.-a – Computational methods in statistical physics and nonlinear dynamics / 37.10.Jk – Atoms in optical lattices
© EPLA, 2011