All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

Ryoichi Kawai

Advisory Committee Members

Chen Cheng-Chien

Hilton J David

Camata P Renato

Simien E Clayton

Stolz Gunter

Document Type

Dissertation

Date of Award

2017

Degree Name by School

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) College of Arts and Sciences

Abstract

A systematic study of a quantum heat engine is presented in this thesis. In particular, we study heat conduction through a two-two level composite system, which is then connected to a photon cavity to extract work, forming an autonomous quantum heat engine. The question as to what extent quantum effects such as quantum coherence and correlations impact thermodynamic properties of such a system is addressed. The investigated heat engine has been previously studied using the popular Born-Markovian quantum master equation under weak internal coupling approximation. However, we show that the used approach is quite limited in addressing such problems as it is incapable of correctly accounting for the quantum effects. By using a non-Markovian approach involving hierarchical equations of motion, we show that quantum coherence and correlations between system and environments play a significant role in energy transfer processes of heat conduction and work.

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