In a thermodynamical process, the dissipation or production of entropy can only be positive or zero, according to the second law of thermodynamics. However, the laws of thermodynamics are applicable to large systems in the thermodynamic limit. Recently a fluctuation theorem, known as the transient fluctuation theorem (TFT), which generalizes the second law of thermodynamics to small systems has been proposed. This theorem has been tested in small systems such as a colloidal particle in an optical trap. We report for the first time an analogous experimental study of TFT in a spatially extended system using liquid crystals.
Volume 94, 2020
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