Inequalities which generalize the Second Principle
Tue, Jan. 10th 2012, 11:00
Salle Claude Itzykson, Bât. 774, Orme des Merisiers
Some fifteen years ago, Jarzynski proved a very general and elementary equality, form which a form of the Second Principle follows immediately. More recently, Hatano and Sasa showed that one may generalize this to systems whose dynamics is by construction non-equilibrium even in the stationary regime; such as, for example, a bar with a potential difference at the ends. The problem with this generalization of the Second Law is that it requires the precise knowledge of the probability distribution in every stationary nonequilibrium configuration, and, more seriously, that the inequality obtained may be in some cases empty. We have been studying alternative versions of the Second Law, which may potentially be used in most cases, and which in addition suggest a variational principle for the distribution function.