In this paper, we analyze the total work extracted and the efficiency of the magnetic Otto cycle in its classic and quantum versions. As a general result, we found that the work and efficiency of the classical engine is always greater than or equal to its quantum counterpart, independent of the working substance. In the classical case, this is due to the fact that the working substance is always in thermodynamic equilibrium at each point of the cycle, maximizing the energy extracted in the adiabatic paths. We apply this analysis to the case of a two-level system, finding that the work and efficiency in both the Otto’s quantum and classical cycles are identical, regardless of the working substance, and we obtain similar results for a multilevel system where a linear relationship between the spectrum of energies of the working substance and the external magnetic field is fulfilled. Finally, we show an example of a three-level system in which we compare two zones in the entropy diagram as a function of temperature and magnetic field to find which is the most efficient region when performing a thermodynamic cycle. This work provides a practical way to look for temperature and magnetic field zones in the entropy diagram that can maximize the power extracted from an Otto magnetic engine.
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