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Heat fluctuations and coherences in a quantum heat engine

American Physical Society
Publication Date
  • Inorganic & Physical Chemistry
  • Mathematics
  • Physics


Quantum coherence can affect the thermodynamics of small quantum systems. Coherences have been shown to affect the power generated by a quantum heat engine (QHE) which is coupled to two thermal photon reservoirs and to an additional cavity mode. We show that the fluctuations of the heat exchanged between the QHE and the reservoirs strongly depend on quantum coherence, especially when the engine operates as a refrigerator, i.e., heat current flows from the cold bath to the hot bath. Intriguingly, we find that the ratio of positive and negative (with respect to the thermodynamic force) fluctuations in the heat current satisfies a universal coherence-independent fluctuation theorem.

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