Underdamped stochastic heat engine at maximum efficiency

A. Dechant, N. Kiesel, E. Lutz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


We investigate the performance of an underdamped stochastic heat engine, using the paradigmatic model of a harmonic oscillator with time-dependent frequency. We analytically determine the optimal protocol that maximizes the efficiency at fixed power. The maximum efficiency reduces to the Curzon-Ahlborn formula at maximum power and to the Carnot formula at zero power. We establish that the efficiency at maximum power is universally given by the Curzon-Ahlborn efficiency for weak damping. We further show that even small deviations from operation at maximum power results in a significantly increased efficiency.

Original languageEnglish
Article number50003
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Sep
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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