Volume 85, Number 3, February 2009
|Number of page(s)||5|
|Published online||13 February 2009|
The quantum refrigerator: The quest for absolute zero
Fritz Haber Research Center for Molecular Dynamics, Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Jerusalem, 91904, Israel
2 Department of Mathematical Science, San Diego State University - San Diego, CA, 92182, USA
3 Physics Institute, Technical University of Chemnitz - Chemnitz, D-09107 Germany, EU
Corresponding author: email@example.com
Accepted: 18 January 2009
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 analysed. 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 giving a dynamical interpretation to the third law of thermodynamics.
PACS: 05.30.-d – Quantum statistical mechanics / 05.70.-a – Thermodynamics / 07.20.Pe – Heat engines; heat pumps; heat pipes
© EPLA, 2009
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