Onsager coefficients of a Brownian Carnot cycle
Division of Physics, Hokkaido University, Sapporo, 060-0810, Japan
Published online: 1 October 2010
We study a Brownian Carnot cycle introduced by Schmiedl and Seifert [Europhys. Lett. 81, 20003 (2008)] from a viewpoint of the linear irreversible thermodynamics. By considering the entropy production rate of this cycle, we can determine thermodynamic forces and fluxes of the cycle and calculate the Onsager coefficients for general protocols, that is, arbitrary schedules to change the potential confining the Brownian particle. We show that these Onsager coefficients contain the information of the protocol shape and they satisfy the tight-coupling condition irrespective of whatever protocol shape we choose. These properties may give an explanation why the Curzon-Ahlborn efficiency often appears in the finite-time heat engines.
© EDP Sciences, Società Italiana di Fisica, Springer-Verlag, 2010