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saurabhjain

Physicists design zero-friction quantum engine

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saurabhjain    16
Detail —In real physical processes, some energy is always lost any time work is produced. The lost energy almost always occurs due to friction, especially in processes that involve mechanical motion. 
 
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But in a new study, physicists have designed an engine that operates with zero friction while still generating power by taking advantage of some quantum shortcuts. The laws of thermodynamics successfully describe the concepts of work and heat in a wide variety of systems, ranging from refrigerators to black holes, as long as the systems are macroscopic. But for quantum technologies on the micro- and nano-scale, quantum fluctuations that are insignificant on large scales start to become prominent. As previous research as shown, the large quantum effects call for a complete reformulation of the thermodynamics laws.

In the new paper, the physicists have shown one example of a quantum engine that is "super-adiabatic." That is, the engine uses quantum shortcuts to achieve a state that is usually achieved only by slow adiabatic processes. This engine can achieve a state that is fully frictionless; in other words, the engine reaches its maximum efficiency, while still generating some power.

Source: Phys Org.
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DrD    1

At this point, I do not see this as engineering, but rather as physics research. It may eventually evolve into an engineering technology, but I do not think that is at all certain. It may also be nothing more than a curiosity forever.

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