Volume 80, Number 5, December 2007
Article Number 50001
Number of page(s) 5
Section General
Published online 25 October 2007
EPL, 80 (2007) 50001
DOI: 10.1209/0295-5075/80/50001

Equation of state in a small system: Violation of an assumption of Maxwell's demon

T. Hondou

Department of Physics, Tohoku University - Sendai 980-8578, Japan and Institut Curie, Section Recherche, UMR168 - 26 rue d'Ulm, 75248 Paris Cedex 05, France

received 19 February 2007; accepted in final form 2 October 2007; published December 2007
published online 25 October 2007

An equation of state for an ideal gas with a small number of particles is studied. The resulting equation is found to differ from that expected in conventional thermodynamics, which is strikingly illustrated when considering the traditional thermodynamic problem of Maxwell's demon. We clarify the mechanism of this different feature of thermodynamics arising in small systems.

05.70.Ce - Thermodynamic functions and equations of state.
82.37.-j - Single molecule kinetics.

© Europhysics Letters Association 2007