Unifying paradigms of quantum refrigeration: Fundamental limits of cooling and associated work costs

Fabien Clivaz, Ralph Silva, Geraldine Haack, Jonatan Bohr Brask, Nicolas Brunner, Marcus Huber

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In classical thermodynamics the work cost of control can typically be neglected. On the contrary, in quantum thermodynamics the cost of control constitutes a fundamental contribution to the total work cost. Here, focusing on quantum refrigeration, we investigate how the level of control determines the fundamental limits to cooling and how much work is expended in the corresponding process. We compare two extremal levels of control: first, coherent operations, where the entropy of the resource is left unchanged, and, second, incoherent operations, where only energy at maximum entropy (i.e., heat) is extracted from the resource. For minimal machines, we find that the lowest achievable temperature and associated work cost depend strongly on the type of control, in both single-cycle and asymptotic regimes. We also extend our analysis to general machines. Our work provides a unified picture of the different approaches to quantum refrigeration developed in the literature, including algorithmic cooling, autonomous quantum refrigerators, and the resource theory of quantum thermodynamics.
Original languageEnglish
Article number042130
JournalPhysical Review E
Issue number4
Number of pages33
Publication statusPublished - 2019


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