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Nonequilibrium Quantum Many-Body Rydberg Atom Engine

Carollo, Federico; Gambetta, Filippo M; Brandner, Kay; Garrahan, Juan P.; Lesanovsky, Igor


Federico Carollo

Filippo M Gambetta


The standard approach to quantum engines is based on equilibrium systems and on thermo-dynamic transformations between Gibbs states. However, non-equilibrium quantum systems offer enhanced experimental flexibility in the control of their parameters and, if used as engines, a more direct interpretation of the type of work they deliver. Here we introduce an out-of-equilibrium quantum engine inspired by recent experiments with cold atoms. Our system is connected to a single environment and produces mechanical work from many-body interparticle interactions arising between atoms in highly excited Rydberg states. As such, it is not a heat engine but an isothermal one. We perform many-body simulations to show that this system can produce work. The setup we introduce and investigate represents a promising platform for devising new types of microscopic machines and for exploring quantum effects in thermodynamic processes.


Carollo, F., Gambetta, F. M., Brandner, K., Garrahan, J. P., & Lesanovsky, I. (2020). Nonequilibrium Quantum Many-Body Rydberg Atom Engine. Physical Review Letters, 124(17),

Journal Article Type Letter
Acceptance Date Apr 14, 2020
Online Publication Date Apr 30, 2020
Publication Date May 1, 2020
Deposit Date Apr 15, 2020
Publicly Available Date Apr 30, 2020
Journal Physical Review Letters
Print ISSN 0031-9007
Electronic ISSN 1079-7114
Publisher American Physical Society
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 124
Issue 17
Article Number 170602
Keywords General Physics and Astronomy
Public URL
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