Quantum heat engine in the relativistic limit: the case of a Dirac particle.


We studied the efficiency of two different schemes for a quantum heat engine, by considering a single Dirac particle trapped in an infinite one-dimensional potential well as the "working substance." The first scheme is a cycle, composed of two adiabatic and two isoenergetic reversible trajectories in configuration space. The trajectories are driven by a quasistatic deformation of the potential well due to an external applied force. The second scheme is a variant of the former, where isoenergetic trajectories are replaced by isothermal ones, along which the system is in contact with macroscopic thermostats. This second scheme constitutes a quantum analog of the classical Carnot cycle. Our expressions, as obtained from the Dirac single-particle spectrum, converge in the nonrelativistic limit to some of the existing results in the literature for the Schrödinger spectrum.

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@article{Muoz2012QuantumHE, title={Quantum heat engine in the relativistic limit: the case of a Dirac particle.}, author={Enrique Mu{\~n}oz and Francisco J. Pe{\~n}a}, journal={Physical review. E, Statistical, nonlinear, and soft matter physics}, year={2012}, volume={86 6 Pt 1}, pages={061108} }