Table of Contents
Entropy, Volume 19, Issue 4 (April 2017)
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Cover Story (view full-size image) The quantum Otto cycle serves as a bridge between the macroscopic world of heat engines and the [...] Read more. The quantum Otto cycle serves as a bridge between the macroscopic world of heat engines and the quantum regime of thermal devices composed from a single element. We review recent progress based on quantum thermodynamics in tracking the similarities between macroscopic quantum engines and an engine composed of a single quantum element. The tradeoff between power and efficiency which is the focal point of finite-time thermodynamics is revealed. The quantum origin of irreversibility such as friction and heat transport is discussed. A pure quantum limit is the sudden engine which allows finite power at zero cycle time. The refrigerator cycle is described within the frictionless limit exploring the third law when the cooling rate vanishes when the cold bath temperature approaches absolute zero. View the paper