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Wikipedia definition (similar term):
Thermodynamic heat pump cycles or refrigeration cycles are the conceptual and mathematical models for heat pumps and refrigerators. A heat pump is a machine or device that moves heat from one location (the 'source') at a lower temperature to another location (the 'sink' or 'heat sink') at a higher temperature using mechanical work or a high-temperature heat source. Thus a heat pump may be thought of as a "heater" if the objective is to warm the heat sink (as when warming the inside of a home on a cold day), or a "refrigerator" if the objective is to cool the heat source (as in the normal operation of a freezer). In either case, the operating principles are identical. Heat is moved from a cold place to a warm place.