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Physics - Classical Continuum Physics | Irreversibility and Dissipation in Microscopic Systems

Irreversibility and Dissipation in Microscopic Systems

Series: Springer Theses

Roldán, Édgar

2014, XXI, 211 p. 75 illus., 41 illus. in color.

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  • Nominated as an outstanding Ph.D. thesis by the Complutense University of Madrid
  • A guide to understanding time irreversibility and how it can be quantified in stationary processes
  • Develops techniques to estimate the dissipation rate in biological processes from single stationary trajectories
  • Serves as a guide to estimate the Kullback-Leibler divergence between two probability distributions (discrete or continuous)
  • Describes experimental measurement of the energetics of symmetry breaking
After an insightful introductory part on recent developments in the thermodynamics of small systems, the author presents his contribution to a long-standing problem, namely the connection between irreversibility and dissipation. He develops a method based on recent results on fluctuation theorems that is able to estimate dissipation using only information acquired in a single, sufficiently long, trajectory of a stationary nonequilibrium process. This part ends with a remarkable application of the method to the analysis of biological data, in this case, the fluctuations of a hair bundle.
The third part studies the energetics of systems that undergo symmetry breaking transitions. These theoretical ideas lead to, among other things, an experimental realization of a Szilard engine using manipulated colloids.
This work has the potential for important applications ranging from the analysis of biological media to the design of novel artificial nano-machines.

Content Level » Research

Keywords » Brownian Engines - Flashing Ratchets - Fluctuation Theorems - Irreversibility and Dissipation - Kullback-Leibler Divergence - Optical Tweezers - Stochastic Thermodynamics - Thermodynamics in Microscopic Systems

Related subjects » Biophysics & Biological Physics - Classical Continuum Physics - Complexity - Condensed Matter Physics

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