Informal Statistical Physics Seminar

Tue, Feb 13, 2018 1:15 pm - 2:15 pm
IPST 1116 Conference Room


Speaker: Dr. Momcilo Gavrilov, John Hopkins University

Title: Direct Measurement of a Weakly Nonequilibrium System Entropy using a Feedback Trap

Abstract: Gavrilov abstract The entropy function for an equilibrium system has a Gibbs-Shannon form; however, there is a long, sometimes contentious debate as to whether the Gibbs-Shannon form applies to systems out of equilibrium. Here, I present the first direct measurement of the entropy function for a system out of equilibrium. In a feedback trap, I confine a silica bead immersed in water in a virtual double-well potential that models a two-state system capable of storing maximum one bit of information. By measuring the average work to erase a controlled fraction of the information, I isolate directly the change in entropy in a nonequilibrium system and show its compatibility with the Gibbs-Shannon form. Further, by measuring the reversibility of slow protocols used to transform the system, I show how to distinguish unambiguously between protocols that can and cannot reach the expected thermodynamic bounds.

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