We investigate the fundamental dimensional limits to thermodynamic machines. In particular, we show that it is possible to construct self-contained refrigerators (i.e., not requiring external sources of work) consisting of only a small number of qubits and/or qutrits. We present three different models, consisting of two qubits, a qubit and a qutrit with nearest-neighbor interactions, and a single qutrit, respectively. We then investigate the fundamental limits to their performance; in particular, we show that it is possible to cool towards absolute zero.
|Translated title of the contribution||How small can thermal machines be? The smallest possible refrigerator|
|Number of pages||4|
|Journal||Physical Review Letters|
|Publication status||Published - 21 Sep 2010|