Seminar: "The smallest possible thermal machines and the foundations of thermodynamics"


Professor Sandu Popescu
The Bristol Centre for Nanoscience and Quantum Information
School of Physics, University of Bristol, UK

15 December 2022, 12:00 
Room 324, Kaplun Building 

Professor Sandu Popescu is a 2022/2023 IAS Distinguished Scholar of the Mortimer and Raymond Sackler Institute of Advanced Studies.



In my talk, I raise the question about the fundamental limits to the size of thermal machines – refrigerators, heat pumps and work-producing engines - and I will present the smallest possible ones. I will then discuss the issue of a possible complementarity between size and efficiency and show that even the smallest machines could be maximally efficient, and I will also present a new point of view on what is work and what thermal machines actually do. Finally, I will present a completely new approach to the foundations of thermodynamics that follows from these results.



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