Colloquia 2005

THE FLUCTUATION THEOREM

Prof. Denis J. Evans
Australian National University

Date

4-5 p.m., Thursday, 26 May, 2005 .

Location

School of Physics Common Room
Room 64 Old Main Building
The University of New South Wales

Abstract
In 1993 we discovered a relation, subsequently known as the Fluctuation Theorem (FT), which gives an analytical expression for the probability of observing Second Law violating dynamical fluctuations in small thermostatted nonequilibrium systems which are observed for a short period of time. This Theorem places quantitative restrictions on the operation of small (nano) machines and devices. These constraints cannot be circumvented.
Quantitative predictions made by the Fluctuation Theorem regarding the probability of Second Law "violations" have been confirmed experimentally, both using molecular dynamics computer simulation and very recently in two laboratory experiments [1] which employed optical tweezers. In this talk we give a brief summary of the theory [2] and a description of the experiments.

References
[1] "Experimental demonstration of violations of the Second Law of Thermodynamics for small systems and short time scales", by Wang, G.M., Sevick, E.M., Mittag, E., Searles, D.J. and Evans, D.J., Phys. Rev. Lett., 89 (5), 050601/1-4 (2002).
[2]"The Fluctuation Theorem" by Denis J Evans and Debra J Searles, Advances in Physics, 51, 1529-1585(2002).

 

The audience, including graduate students, are invited to meet the speaker 15 minutes beforehand over wine and cheese in the Physics Common Room.

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