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Entropy 2016, 18(5), 166; doi:10.3390/e18050166

Performance of Continuous Quantum Thermal Devices Indirectly Connected to Environments

Departamento de Física and IUdEA, Universidad de La Laguna, La Laguna 38204, Spain
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Ronnie Kosloff
Received: 28 March 2016 / Revised: 20 April 2016 / Accepted: 20 April 2016 / Published: 28 April 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Quantum Thermodynamics)
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Abstract

A general quantum thermodynamics network is composed of thermal devices connected to environments through quantum wires. The coupling between the devices and the wires may introduce additional decay channels which modify the system performance with respect to the directly-coupled device. We analyze this effect in a quantum three-level device connected to a heat bath or to a work source through a two-level wire. The steady state heat currents are decomposed into the contributions of the set of simple circuits in the graph representing the master equation. Each circuit is associated with a mechanism in the device operation and the system performance can be described by a small number of circuit representatives of those mechanisms. Although in the limit of weak coupling between the device and the wire the new irreversible contributions can become small, they prevent the system from reaching the Carnot efficiency. View Full-Text
Keywords: quantum thermodynamics; graph theory; thermodynamic performance quantum thermodynamics; graph theory; thermodynamic performance
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

González, J.O.; Alonso, D.; Palao, J.P. Performance of Continuous Quantum Thermal Devices Indirectly Connected to Environments. Entropy 2016, 18, 166.

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