Journal article
A single-atom heat engine



Publication Details
Authors:
Rossnagel, J.; Dawkins, S.; Tolazzi, K.; Abah, O.; Lutz, E.; Schmidt-Kaler, F.; Singer, K.
Publication year:
2016
Journal:
Science
Pages range:
325-329
Volume number:
352
Issue number:
6283
ISSN:
0036-8075

Abstract


We report the experimental realization of a single-atom heat engine. An ion is con ned in a

linear Paul trap with tapered geometry and driven thermally by coupling it alternately to hot and

cold reservoirs. The output power of the engine is used to drive a harmonic oscillation. From direct measurements of the ion dynamics, we determine the thermodynamic cycles for various temperature dierences of the reservoirs. We use these cycles to evaluate power P and eciency of the engine, obtaining up to P = 342 yJ and = 2:8h, consistent with analytical estimations. Our results demonstrate that thermal machines can be reduced to the ultimate limit of single atoms.




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