The classical Carnot heat engine
The Vuilleumier cycle is a thermodynamic cycle with applications in low-temperature cooling. In some respects it resembles a Stirling cycle or engine, although it has two "displacers" with a mechanical linkage connecting them as compared to one in the Stirling cycle. The hot displacer is larger than the cold displacer. The coupling maintains the appropriate phase difference. The displacers do no work—they are not pistons. Thus no work is required in an ideal case to operate the cycle. In reality friction and other losses mean that some work is required.
The cycle was first patented by Vuilleumier in 1918, and again in Leiden by KW Taconis in 1951.
- Experimental techniques in low-temperature physics, Guy Kendall White, Philip J. Meeson, Oxford University Press, 2002, p. 30 Link