Physics

A (theoretical) quantum refrigerator

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Science  08 Mar 2019:
Vol. 363, Issue 6431, pp. 1053-1054
DOI: 10.1126/science.363.6431.1053-e

How thermodynamics works at a scale where quantum rules apply has fascinated many physicists. Buffoni et al. propose an intriguing scheme for making a tiny refrigerator that exploits the laws of quantum mechanics. Their refrigerator consists of two qubits that were initially in contact with reservoirs at different temperatures. In a refrigeration cycle, the qubits first underwent a quantum measurement, which changed their state and caused them to exchange energy with the measurement apparatus; the cycle was closed by putting the qubits back in contact with their respective reservoirs, giving away more heat than they received. The researchers predict that the procedure is robust with respect to experimental noise and may be realizable with superconducting qubits.

Phys. Rev. Lett. 122, 070603 (2019).

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