Next Article in Journal
Joint Lossless Image Compression and Encryption Scheme Based on CALIC and Hyperchaotic System
Next Article in Special Issue
Quantum Heat Engines with Complex Working Media, Complete Otto Cycles and Heuristics
Previous Article in Journal
A Multi-Objective Multi-Label Feature Selection Algorithm Based on Shapley Value
Previous Article in Special Issue
Dissipation-Driven Selection under Finite Diffusion: Hints from Equilibrium and Separation of Time Scales
 
 
Article

The Problem of Engines in Statistical Physics

1
International Centre for Theory of Quantum Technologies (ICTQT), University of Gdańsk, 80-308 Gdańsk, Poland
2
Physics of Living Systems, Department of Physics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA
3
Laboratorio de Física Teórica y Computacional, Escuela de Física, Universidad de Costa Rica, San José 11501-2060, Costa Rica
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Henni Ouerdane
Entropy 2021, 23(8), 1095; https://doi.org/10.3390/e23081095
Received: 28 June 2021 / Revised: 31 July 2021 / Accepted: 12 August 2021 / Published: 22 August 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nonequilibrium Thermodynamics and Stochastic Processes)
Engines are open systems that can generate work cyclically at the expense of an external disequilibrium. They are ubiquitous in nature and technology, but the course of mathematical physics over the last 300 years has tended to make their dynamics in time a theoretical blind spot. This has hampered the usefulness of statistical mechanics applied to active systems, including living matter. We argue that recent advances in the theory of open quantum systems, coupled with renewed interest in understanding how active forces result from positive feedback between different macroscopic degrees of freedom in the presence of dissipation, point to a more realistic description of autonomous engines. We propose a general conceptualization of an engine that helps clarify the distinction between its heat and work outputs. Based on this, we show how the external loading force and the thermal noise may be incorporated into the relevant equations of motion. This modifies the usual Fokker–Planck and Langevin equations, offering a thermodynamically complete formulation of the irreversible dynamics of simple oscillating and rotating engines. View Full-Text
Keywords: open systems; thermodynamic cycles; feedback; limit cycles; master equation; Langevin equation; quantum thermodynamics; irreversible processes; active matter open systems; thermodynamic cycles; feedback; limit cycles; master equation; Langevin equation; quantum thermodynamics; irreversible processes; active matter
Show Figures

Figure 1

MDPI and ACS Style

Alicki, R.; Gelbwaser-Klimovsky, D.; Jenkins, A. The Problem of Engines in Statistical Physics. Entropy 2021, 23, 1095. https://doi.org/10.3390/e23081095

AMA Style

Alicki R, Gelbwaser-Klimovsky D, Jenkins A. The Problem of Engines in Statistical Physics. Entropy. 2021; 23(8):1095. https://doi.org/10.3390/e23081095

Chicago/Turabian Style

Alicki, Robert, David Gelbwaser-Klimovsky, and Alejandro Jenkins. 2021. "The Problem of Engines in Statistical Physics" Entropy 23, no. 8: 1095. https://doi.org/10.3390/e23081095

Find Other Styles
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

1
Back to TopTop