Volume 79, Number 3, August 2007
Article Number 30002
Number of page(s) 5
Section General
Published online 12 July 2007
EPL, 79 (2007) 30002
DOI: 10.1209/0295-5075/79/30002

Distribution of entropy production for a colloidal particle in a nonequilibrium steady state

T. Speck1, V. Blickle2, C. Bechinger2 and U. Seifert1

1  II. Institut für Theoretische Physik, Universität Stuttgart - Pfaffenwaldring 57, 70550 Stuttgart, Germany
2  2. Physikalisches Institut, Universität Stuttgart - Pfaffenwaldring 57, 70550 Stuttgart, Germany

received 27 April 2007; accepted in final form 13 June 2007; published August 2007
published online 12 July 2007

For a colloidal particle driven by a constant force across a periodic potential, we investigate the distribution of entropy production both experimentally and theoretically. For short trajectories, the fluctuation theorem holds experimentally. The mean entropy production rate shows two regimes as a function of the applied force. Theoretically, both mean and variance of the pronounced non-Gaussian distribution can be obtained from a differential equation in good agreement with the experimental data.

05.40.-a - Fluctuation phenomena, random processes, noise, and Brownian motion.
82.70.Dd - Colloids.

© Europhysics Letters Association 2007