Engines and refrigerators have often been the subjects physicists have amused themselves with in the quest to calculate the properties of quantum machines. However, the primary question is how efficient and useful these devices actually are when the rules of classical mechanics are discarded for those of quantum mechanics. As physicists discover answers to this question, they are getting insights into the relationship between thermodynamics and quantum mechanics.
University of Gdansk Researcher, Robert Alicki, and Mark Fannes from the University of Leuven, are studying quantum batteries in order to better understand this conundrum. The question: when energy is stored temporarily how much work can be extracted from a quantum system?
Physicists have known about passive states for decades, so they want to expand their understanding to determine the difference between passive states and the energy of the quantum system. The resulting energy may then be extracted to apply elsewhere.
But the extractable work isn’t perfect because it is generally lower than the thermodynamic limit. However, physicists have discovered that the end result changes if several identical batteries are entangled, essentially sharing the same existence. The extraction from all batteries could then occur instantaneously. The thermodynamic limit is more closely reached as the number of entangled batteries increases, leading physicists to conclude the batteries are almost perfect.
The caveat: so far much of this work is theoretical. Practical limitations must be more accurately determined, and these determinations might change the actual end result. Only time, and additional research, will determine if quantum batteries truly are perfect.
[via MIT Technology Review]
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Quantum Mechanics is very spooky. That's for sure. The good old Bohr said, that if you didn't get dizzy of it, then you had not understood a word of anything in the observations. Quantum mechanics has for many years been used in new age to "prove" the existence of esp, paranormal activity, telepathy etc. ad infinitum, but those ideas are getting closer and closer to a scientific bluestamp. I have been a fan of Sir Roger Penrose of Oxford University for many years. He was the first scientist to say that consciousness should be found in the quantum field rather than in the brain. I am so much a fan, that I made my own theory out of the idea that consciousness might be explained through a better understanding of antimatter and parallel universes. My idea is that antimatter is the mirror of this universe, and that antimatter might be where memory is located. I think that the subconscious mind and consciousness are located in parallel universes in the form of antimatter. That makes the spirit and maybe even God all physical, so basically I could be said to be an atheist, even though I consider myself spiritual. If you would like to know more, then you can watch a full videopresentation of my theory on my blog: www.crestroy.com