An autonomous single-piston engine with a quantum rotor

TitleAn autonomous single-piston engine with a quantum rotor
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsRoulet, A, Nimmrichter, S, Taylor, JM
Date Published2018/02/15

Pistons are elementary components of a wide variety of thermal engines, converting input fuel into rotational motion. Here, we propose a single-piston engine where the rotational degree of freedom is effectively realized by the flux of a superconducting island -- a quantum rotor -- while the working volume corresponds to the effective length of a superconducting resonator. Our autonomous design implements a Carnot cycle, relies solely on standard thermal baths and can be implemented with circuit quantum electrodynamics. We demonstrate how the piston is able to extract a net positive work via its built-in synchronicity using a filter cavity as an effective valve, eliminating the need for external control.