Imperial College London


Faculty of Natural SciencesDepartment of Physics

Professor of Quantum Physics



+44 (0)20 7594 7863t.rudolph Website




Blackett LaboratorySouth Kensington Campus






BibTex format

author = {Frenzel, MF and Jennings, D and Rudolph, T},
doi = {2/023037},
journal = {New Journal of Physics},
title = {Quasi-autonomous quantum thermal machines and quantum to classical energy flow},
url = {},
volume = {18},
year = {2016}

RIS format (EndNote, RefMan)

AB - There are both practical and foundational motivations to consider the thermodynamics of quantumsystems at small scales. Here we address the issue of autonomous quantum thermal machinesthat are tailored to achieve some specific thermodynamic primitive, such as work extraction in thepresence of a thermal environment, while having minimal or no control from the macroscopic regime.Beyond experimental implementations, this provides an arena in which to address certain foundationalaspects such as the role of coherence in thermodynamics, the use of clock degrees of freedomand the simulation of local time-dependent Hamiltonians in a particular quantum subsystem. Forsmall-scale systems additional issues arise. Firstly, it is not clear to what degree genuine orderedthermodynamic work has been extracted, and secondly non-trivial back-actions on the thermal machinemust be accounted for. We find that both these aspects can be resolved through a judiciouschoice of quantum measurements that magnify thermodynamic properties up the ladder of lengthscales,while simultaneously stabilizing the quantum thermal machine. Within this framework weshow that thermodynamic reversibility is obtained in a particular Zeno limit, and finally illustratethese concepts with a concrete example involving spin-systems.
AU - Frenzel,MF
AU - Jennings,D
AU - Rudolph,T
DO - 2/023037
PY - 2016///
SN - 1367-2630
TI - Quasi-autonomous quantum thermal machines and quantum to classical energy flow
T2 - New Journal of Physics
UR -
UR -
VL - 18
ER -