Unattainability of Carnot efficiency in the Brownian heat engine

Tsuyoshi Hondou, Ken Sekimoto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

89 Citations (Scopus)


We discuss the reversibility of the Brownian heat engine. We perform an asymptotic analysis of the Kramers equation on a Büttiker-Landauer system and show quantitatively that Carnot efficiency is unattainable even in the fully overdamped limit. The unattainability is attributed to inevitable irreversible heat flow over the temperature boundary.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6021-6025
Number of pages5
JournalPhysical Review E
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2000


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