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Small thermal machines

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The second law of thermodynamics shows that physics imposes a fundamental constraint on the efficiency of all thermal machines. Here I will study the question of whether size imposes further constraints upon thermal machines, namely whether there is a minimum size below which no machine can be constructed, and whether when they are small if they can still be efficient? I will present a simple model which shows that there is no limitation on the size or efficiency of thermal machine and how this leads to a unified view of small refrigerators, pumps and engines.

This talk is part of the CQIF Seminar series.

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