Boosting work characteristics and overall heat engine performance via shortcuts to adiabaticity: quantum and classical systems

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Deng, Jiawen ; Wang, Qing-hai ; Liu, Zhihao ; Hanggi, Peter ; Gong, Jiangbin (2013)

Under a general framework, shortcuts to adiabatic processes are shown to be possible in classical systems. We then study the distribution function of the work done on a small system initially prepared at thermal equilibrium. It is found that the work fluctuations can be significantly reduced via shortcuts to adiabatic processes. For example, in the classical case probabilities of having very large or almost zero work values are suppressed. In the quantum case negative work may be totally removed from the otherwise non-positive-definite work values. We also apply our findings to a micro Otto-cycle-based heat engine. It is shown that the use of shortcuts, which directly enhances the engine output power, can also increase the heat engine efficiency substantially, in both quantum and classical regimes.
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