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Thermodynamic limits of dynamic cooling


Hovhannisyan KV, Janzing,  D
Department Empirical Inference, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

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Allahverdyan, A., Hovhannisyan KV, Janzing, D., & Mahler, G. (2011). Thermodynamic limits of dynamic cooling. Physical Review E, 84(4), 16 pages. doi:10.1103/PhysRevE.84.041109.

We study dynamic cooling, where an externally driven two-level system is cooled via reservoir, a quantum system with initial canonical equilibrium state. We obtain explicitly the minimal possible temperature Tmin>0 reachable for the two-level system. The minimization goes over all unitary dynamic processes operating on the system and reservoir and over the reservoir energy spectrum. The minimal work needed to reach Tmin grows as 1/Tmin. This work cost can be significantly reduced, though, if one is satisfied by temperatures slightly above Tmin. Our results on Tmin>0 prove unattainability of the absolute zero temperature without ambiguities that surround its derivation from the entropic version of the third law. We also study cooling via a reservoir consisting of N≫1 identical spins. Here we show that Tmin∝1/N and find the maximal cooling compatible with the minimal work determined by the free energy. Finally we discuss cooling by reservoir with an initially microcanonic state and show that although a purely microcanonic state can yield the zero temperature, the unattainability is recovered when taking into account imperfections in preparing the microcanonic state.