Fluctuation theorems

Sevick, E. M., Prabhakar, R., Williams, Stephen R. and Searles, Debra J. (2008) Fluctuation theorems. Annual Review of Physical Chemistry, 59 603-633. doi:10.1146/annurev.physchem.58.032806.104555

Author Sevick, E. M.
Prabhakar, R.
Williams, Stephen R.
Searles, Debra J.
Title Fluctuation theorems
Journal name Annual Review of Physical Chemistry   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0066-426X
ISBN 9780824310592
Publication date 2008-01
Sub-type Critical review of research, literature review, critical commentary
DOI 10.1146/annurev.physchem.58.032806.104555
Volume 59
Start page 603
End page 633
Total pages 31
Place of publication Palo Alto, CA, United States
Publisher Annual Reviews
Language eng
Abstract Fluctuation theorems, developed over the past 15 years, have resulted in fundamental breakthroughs in our understanding of how irreversibility emerges from reversible dynamics and have provided new statistical mechanical relationships for free-energy changes. They describe the statistical fluctuations in time-averaged properties of many-particle systems such as fluids driven to nonequilibrium states and provide some of the few analytical expressions that describe nonequilibrium states. Quantitative predictions on fluctuations in small systems that are monitored over short periods can also be made, and therefore the fluctuation theorems allow thermodynamic concepts to be extended to apply to finite systems. For this reason, we anticipate an important role for fluctuation theorems in the design of nanotechnological devices and in the understanding of biological processes. This review discusses these theorems, their physical significance, and results for experimental and model systems.
Keyword Far-from-equilibrium processes
Free energy change
Nonequilibrium statistical mechanics
Second law of thermodynamics
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Critical review of research, literature review, critical commentary
Collections: School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences
Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 120 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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