Past Event

Physics Colloquium: "Quantum Effects in Energy Storage" with Dr. Marco Polini

March 18, 2024
12:30 PM
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Center for Theoretical Theory

"Quantum effects in energy storage"

Historically, technological revolutions have been driven by the development of a new scientific theory. Two centuries ago, the success of the first industrial revolution was deeply intertwined with the development of thermodynamics. As an empirical theory based on laws postulated from experience, thermodynamics has a  universal character, offering predictions that are valid for both classical and quantum settings. For example, the efficiency of a heat engine based on a quantum system cannot surpass the Carnot limit. Analogously, entanglement cannot be used to extract more work from a thermal energy reservoir. There seems no hope for the existence of quantum advantages in thermodynamics. Thermodynamics at equilibrium, however, does not set bounds on how fast energy is transformed into
heat and work. Thermodynamic quantum advantages are therefore expected in quantum systems that are driven out of equilibrium. In this Colloquium I will tell you about my adventures in the realm of quantum batteries, quantum-mechanical energy storage systems where entanglement and other non- classical correlations generated by quantum dynamics yield a super-extensive scaling of the charging power. This genuine quantum effect leads to an advantage over classical devices and has been one of the main driving forces of the research field on quantum batteries. I will conclude by discussing promising experimental implementations and perspectives.