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Coherent heat and energy transport in quantum systems


We are nowadays capable of controlling and manipulating quantum systems as never before. Quantum technology is close to bringing IT devices to mass scale production. The improvement in the accuracy of fabrication and control of quantum systems starts to pay some results also in different fields of research and application, such as biology.
Despite the successes already achieved, it is surprising that the problem of how quantum systems exchange energy is, from many points of view, still open. How to define work and heat at quantum level? Is it possible to design quantum devices that manage heat and energy transfer in an efficient way?
Here we focus on a particularly promising way in which quantum systems can exchange energy and heat. Our experimental partners have shown that the heat transferred between two superconductors connected by a Josephson junction has a contribution that depends on the phase difference between the superconductors. As the phase difference can be controlled by a magnetic flux, this open a completely new way to manipulate and transfer heat at the quantum scale.
We will study how to exploit this coherent heat transport. The objective of COHEAT is to develop techniques and design circuits aimed at controlling, measuring, distributing, storing and converting heat. COHEAT will lay the theoretical basis for what can be called “coherent caloritronics”. Similar analysis can be extended to other quantum systems as the Bose-Einstein condensates, which represent a test bench for more exotic cases, in which the systems are driven out of equilibrium.
COHEAT will have a strong and interdisciplinary scientific and technological impact. The possibility to transfer heat at mesocopic scale, and to manipulate it fast, easily and locally, has countless applications: quantum computation, biology, nanoengineering to mention the most relevant ones.

Call for proposal

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Piazzale Aldo Moro 7
00185 Roma
Activity type
Research Organisations
EU contribution
€ 100 000
Administrative Contact
Cagnana Barbara (Dr.)