Does the Third Law of Thermodynamics Hold in the Quantum Regime?

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Abstract

The first in a long series of papers by John T. Lewis, in collaboration with G. W. Ford and the present author, considered the problem of the most general coupling of a quantum particle to a linear passive heat bath, in the course of which they derived an exact formula for the free energy of an oscillator coupled to a heat bath in thermal equilibrium at temperature T. This formula, and its later extension to three dimensions to incorporate a magnetic field, has proved to be invaluable in analyzing problems in quantum thermodynamics. Here, we address the question raised in our title viz. Nernst's third law of thermodynamics.

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