Working on small systems: beyond the Second Law of Thermodynamics

Condensed Matter lunchtime seminar

Working on small systems: beyond the Second Law of Thermodynamics

  • Event time: 1:00pm
  • Event date: 24th February 2003
  • Speaker: Professor Alastair Bruce (Formerly School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Edinburgh)
  • Location: Room 2511,

Event details

The fluctuation theorem (FT) of Evans et al [1] makes quantitative predictions about the likelihood and extent of the 'violations' of the Second Law of Thermodynamics occurring in small systems for short time scales. I will review a recent experimental test of these predictions using a colloidal particle in an optical trap [2]. I will discuss the physical basis of the FT and its links to the non-equilibrium work theorem [3] which has also been experimentally verified recently [4]. [1] Evans et al, Phys. Rev. Lett. 71, 2401 (1993) [2] Wang et al, Phys. Rev. Lett. 89, 050601 (2002) [3] Jarzynski, Phys. Rev. Lett. 78, 2690 (1997) [4] Liphardt et al, Science 296, 1832 (2002)

About Condensed Matter lunchtime seminars

This is a weekly series of informal talks given primarily by members of the soft condensed matter and statistical mechanics groups, but is also open to members of other groups and external visitors. The aim of the series is to promote discussion and learning of various topics at a level suitable to the broad background of the group. Everyone is welcome to attend..

Find out more about Condensed Matter lunchtime seminars.