Effective temperature pulses in open quantum systems

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Controlling the temperature of nanoscale quantum systems is becoming increasingly important in the efforts to develop thermal devices such as quantum heat valves, heat engines, and refrigerators and to explore fundamental concepts in quantum thermodynamics. In practice, however, it is challenging to generate arbitrary time-dependent temperatures, similarly to what has been achieved for electronic voltage pulses. To overcome this problem, we here propose a fully quantum mechanical scheme to control the time-dependent environment temperature of an open quantum system. To this end, we consider a collection of quantum harmonic oscillators that mediate the interactions between the quantum system and a thermal reservoir, and we show how an effective time-dependent temperature can be realized by modulating the oscillator frequencies in time. By doing so, we can apply effective temperature pulses to the quantum system, and it can be cooled below the temperature of the environment. Surprisingly, the scheme can be realized using only a few oscillators, and our proposal thereby paves the way for controlling the temperature of open quantum systems.

Original languageEnglish
Article number043112
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2022
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


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