Thermodynamic bounds on efficiency for systems with broken time-reversal symmetry

Giuliano Benenti, Keiji Saito, Giulio Casati

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

185 Citations (Scopus)


We show that for systems with broken time-reversal symmetry the maximum efficiency and the efficiency at maximum power are both determined by two parameters: a "figure of merit" and an asymmetry parameter. In contrast to the time-symmetric case, the figure of merit is bounded from above; nevertheless the Carnot efficiency can be reached at lower and lower values of the figure of merit and far from the so-called strong coupling condition as the asymmetry parameter increases. Moreover, the Curzon-Ahlborn limit for efficiency at maximum power can be overcome within linear response. Finally, always within linear response, it is allowed to have Carnot efficiency and nonzero power simultaneously.

Original languageEnglish
Article number230602
JournalPhysical review letters
Issue number23
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Jun 8
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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