Quantum Otto cycle with inner friction: finite-time and disorder effects
New Journal of Physics 17, 075007 (1-14) (2015)
The concept of inner friction, by which a quantum heat engine is unable to follow adiabatically its strokes and thus dissipates useful energy, is illustrated in an exact physical model where the working substance consists of an ensemble of misaligned spins interacting with a magnetic field and performing the Otto cycle. The effect of this static disorder under a finite-time cycle gives a new perspective of the concept of inner friction under realistic settings. We investigate the efficiency and power of this engine and relate its performance to the amount of friction from misalignment and to the temperature difference between heat baths. Finally we propose an alternative experimental implementation of the cycle where the spin is encoded in the degree of polarization of photons.