Recent years have enjoyed an overwhelming interest in quantum thermodynamics, a field of research aimed at understanding thermodynamic tasks performed in the quantum regime. Further progress, however, seems to be obstructed by the lack of experimental implementations of thermal machines in which quantum effects play a decisive role. In their work in PRX Quantum they introduce a blueprint of quantum field machines, which—once experimentally realized—would fill this gap.
At TU Wien, in collaboration with FU Berlin, Nanyang Technological University in Singapore and the University of Lisbon, it has now been possible to show what possibilities arise when thermodynamics and quantum physics are combined: One can specifically use quantum effects to cool a cloud of ultracold atoms even further. Their technique, which has now been presented in the scientific journal "Physical Review X-Quantum", allows to come a little closer to absolute zero. A lot of work is still needed before this new cooling concept can be turned into an actual quantum refrigerator, but initial experiments already show that the necessary steps are possible in principle.
For more information see:
Open access version: https://arxiv.org/abs/2006.01177, opens an external URL in a new window
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 801110.
ESQ has received funding from the Austrian Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research (BMBWF).