Europhys. Lett.
Volume 72, Number 5, December 2005
Page(s) 726 - 732
Section General
Published online 28 October 2005
Europhys. Lett., 72 (5), pp. 726-732 (2005)
DOI: 10.1209/epl/i2005-10300-3

A unified description of two theorems in non-equilibrium statistical mechanics: The fluctuation theorem and the work relation

J. C. Reid, E. M. Sevick and D. J. Evans

Research School of Chemistry, The Australian National University Canberra ACT 0200, Australia

received 30 June 2005; accepted in final form 30 September 2005
published online 28 October 2005

The fluctuation theorem (FT) and the work relation (WR) are two relations that extend our understanding of thermodynamics to non-equilibrium systems. While often treated as distinct relations, they are in fact closely related. In this letter we generalise these relations, showing that they are fundamental relations of statistical systems, and use these generalised forms to connect the FT and WR through a new set of relations, the conjugate work relations. We then take these general forms of the FT and WR, and show that they reduce to original forms under deterministic dynamics, before finally exploring their application to an experimental system.

05.70.Ln - Nonequilibrium and irreversible thermodynamics.
05.40.-a - Fluctuation phenomena, random processes, noise, and Brownian motion.

© EDP Sciences 2005