Landauer Versus Nernst: What is the True Cost of Cooling a Quantum System

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  • Philip Taranto
  • Faraj Bakhshinezhad
  • Bluhm, Andreas
  • Ralph Silva
  • Nicolai Friis
  • Maximilian P.E. Lock
  • Giuseppe Vitagliano
  • Felix C. Binder
  • Tiago Debarba
  • Emanuel Schwarzhans
  • Fabien Clivaz
  • Marcus Huber

Thermodynamics connects our knowledge of the world to our capability to manipulate and thus to control it. This crucial role of control is exemplified by the third law of thermodynamics, Nernst's unattainability principle, which states that infinite resources are required to cool a system to absolute zero temperature. But what are these resources and how should they be utilized And how does this relate to Landauer's principle that famously connects information and thermodynamics We answer these questions by providing a framework for identifying the resources that enable the creation of pure quantum states. We show that perfect cooling is possible with Landauer energy cost given infinite time or control complexity. However, such optimal protocols require complex unitaries generated by an external work source. Restricting to unitaries that can be run solely via a heat engine, we derive a novel Carnot-Landauer limit, along with protocols for its saturation. This generalizes Landauer's principle to a fully thermodynamic setting, leading to a unification with the third law and emphasizes the importance of control in quantum thermodynamics.

Original languageEnglish
Article number010332
JournalPRX Quantum
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2023

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© 2023 authors. Published by the American Physical Society. Published by the American Physical Society under the terms of the ""Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license. Further distribution of this work must maintain attribution to the author(s) and the published article's title, journal citation, and DOI.

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