Volume 133, Number 1, January 2021
|Number of page(s)||7|
|Published online||10 March 2021|
Hidden energy flows in strongly coupled nonequilibrium systems
Department of Physics, Simon Fraser University - Burnaby, British Columbia, V5A 1S6, Canada
Received: 17 September 2020
Accepted: 2 December 2020
Quantifying the flow of energy within and through fluctuating nanoscale systems poses a significant challenge to understanding microscopic biological machines. A common approach involves coarse graining, which allows a simplified description of such systems. This has the side effect of inducing so-called hidden contributions (due to sub-resolution dynamics) that complicate the resulting thermodynamics. Here we develop a thermodynamically consistent theory describing the nonequilibrium excess power internal to autonomous systems, and introduce a phenomenological framework to quantify the hidden excess power associated with their operation. We confirm our theoretical predictions in numerical simulations of a minimal model for both a molecular transport motor and a rotary motor.
PACS: 05.70.Ln – Nonequilibrium and irreversible thermodynamics / 05.40.-a – Fluctuation phenomena, random processes, noise, and Brownian motion / 05.10.Gg – Stochastic analysis methods (Fokker-Planck, Langevin, etc.)
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