Stochastic thermodynamics provides a systematic framework for extending the notions of classical thermodynamics such as work, heat and entropy production to the level of individual trajectories of well-defined non-equilibrium ensembles. Paradigmatic systems are single colloidal particles, enzymes and molecular motors in single molecule assays.
Thermodynamic uncertainty relation and large deviation theory
For systems operating at the mesoscale, fluctuations of thermodynamic quantities can be of the same magnitude as the mean value but are often undesired. The thermodynamic uncertainty relation states that small fluctuations come at the cost of high disspipation, which implies that the effieciency of such mesoscopic devices is decreased if reliable operation is required.
In contrast to passive Brownian motion its active counterpart has some sort of mechanism influencing the direction or speed of the particles. Examples of such particles range from synthetic janus swimmers which have a chemical propulsion in a certain direction to Bacteria which control their motion by transforming their body. With both passive kicks and active motion acting on the particles intriguing effects can be observed.
Precision in biological systems
On a nanoscale all processes preserving live are governed by biochemical processes, for instance motion is created by molecular motors consuming ATP, sensing is realized by binding mechanisms and enzymes are controlling and chaperoning the folding of new proteins. The fact that those processes are subject to thermal noise and thus limited accuracy raises the question of precision.
Soft Matter in Flow
The statistics of colloids change significantly when they enter a condensed phase. In a dense package one can observe numerous effects from anormal diffusion to phase transistions. We study the response to an external flow.