University College London, United Kingdom
Exploring stochastic thermodynamics with optical traps
The theory of equilibrium statistical mechanics is well established, and has found direct or indirect confirmation in a wide range of experiments. This is not the case for the emerging field of non-equilibrium statistical mechanics. In this case, a general theory has yet to be formulated, although a number of theorems (e.g. fluctuations and work theorems) have been introduced to link different physical quantities in system out of equilibrium. The aim of the proposed research is to develop further, through proof-of-principle experiments with optical traps in optofluidic systems, the foundations of non-equilibrium statistical mechanics, with a view towards a unified description.
WG2: Optical control in microfluidics