Session L9: Focus Session: Systems Far from Equilibrium II

2:30 PM–5:30 PM, Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Room: 303

Sponsoring Units: GSNP DBP
Chair: Michel Pleimling, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Abstract ID: BAPS.2009.MAR.L9.13

Abstract: L9.00013 : Far-From-Equilibrium Measurements of Thermodynamic Length

5:18 PM–5:30 PM

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  Edward Feng
    (Sandia Livermore National Laboratory)

  Gavin Crooks
    (Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory)

Thermodynamic length is a path function that generalizes the notion of length to the surface of thermodynamic states. Here, we show how to measure thermodynamic length in far-from-equilibrium single molecule experiments using the work fluctuation relations. For these microscopic systems, it proves necessary to define the thermodynamic length in terms of the Fisher information. Consequently, the thermodynamic length can be directly related to the magnitude of fluctuations about equilibrium. The work fluctuation relations link the work and the free energy change during an external perturbation on a system. Using these results, we determine how to re-weight the probability of a trajectory to determine the equilibrium averages at an intermediate point of the protocol in which the system is out-of-equilibrium. This allows us to measure the thermodynamic length in single molecule experiments.

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