Thermodynamics and small quantum systems
Abstract
Small quantum systems nonweakly coupled to a bath become in the quantum regime surrounded by a cloud of photons or phonons, which modifies their thermodynamic behavior. Exactly solvable examples are the Brownian motion of a quantum particle in a harmonic confining potential and coupled to a harmonic quantum thermal bath, e.g. an ion in a Penning trap, and a spin immersed in a bosonic bath, as occurs in NMR physics. It appears that the Clausius inequality $\dbarrm Q\le T\d S$ can be violated. For nonadiabatic changes of system parameters the rate of energy dissipation can be negative, and, out of equilibrium, cyclic processes are possible which extract work from the bath. Experimental setups for testing some of the effects are discussed.
 Publication:

Journal of Modern Optics
 Pub Date:
 2003
 DOI:
 10.1080/09500340308233574
 arXiv:
 arXiv:condmat/0311582
 Bibcode:
 2003JMOp...50.2433N
 Keywords:

 Condensed Matter  Mesoscale and Nanoscale Physics;
 Quantum Physics
 EPrint:
 Invited talk at `Physics of Quantum Electronics 33', Snowbird, January 2003. 13 pages, 2 figures