Seminar by R. Ganapathy at Soft Matter Lab, 7 April 2021

On Wednesday, 7 April 2021, Rajesh Ganapathy will give a seminar at the Soft Matter Lab and the Department of Physics, University of Gothenburg. He will speak on how energy can be harvested in microscopic environments making use of active baths.

Tuning the performance of a micron-sized Stirling engine by ‘active’ noise
Rajesh Ganapathy
Time: 07 April, 2021, 11:00
Place: Online via Zoom (link to be shared)

Abstract: Mesoscale heat engines, wherein a single atom or a micron-sized colloidal particle is the working substance, are paradigmatic models to elucidate the conversion of heat into work in a noisy environment. While stochastic thermodynamics provides a precise framework for quantifying the performance of these engines when operating between thermal baths, how energy transduction occurs when the reservoirs themselves are out-of-equilibrium, life for instance for a biological motor carrying cargo inside a cell, remains largely unclear. In the first part of my talk, I will describe the design, construction, and quantification of a colloidal Stirling geat engine operating, in the quasistatic limit, between bacterial baths characterized by different levels of activity. We will show that due to ‘active noise’ the performance of the Stirling engine even surpasses a thermal Stirling engine operating between reservoirs with an infinite temperature difference. In the second part of my talk, we will outline a reservoir engineering approach that allowed us to operate the ‘active’ Stirling engine not only in the quasi-static-limit but also at finite cycle durations. Armed with this capability, we will show that the performance of a micron-sized Stirling engine can be tuned by altering only the nature of the reservoir noise statistics.

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