A Thermoelectric Heat Engine with Ultracold Atoms

by theonlynewsman

A Thermoelectric Heat Engine with Ultracold Atoms

Thermoelectric effects, such as the generation of a particle current by a temperature gradient, have their origin in a reversible coupling between heat and particle flows. These effects are fundamental probes for materials and have applications to cooling and power generation. Here, we demonstrate thermoelectricity in a fermionic cold atoms channel in the ballistic and diffusive regimes, connected to two reservoirs. We show that the magnitude of the effect and the efficiency of energy conversion can be optimized by controlling the geometry or disorder strength. Our observations are in quantitative agreement with a theoretical model based on the Landauer-Büttiker formalism. Our device provides a controllable model system to explore mechanisms of energy conversion and realizes a cold atom–based heat engine.