The recent technological advances in micromanipulation and force-sensing techniques have brought access to the dynamics and energy changes that affect mesoscopic physical systems described by few degrees of freedom. For systems of microscopic and nanoscopic scale, the thermal fluctuations of the surrounding environment become relevant. Hence the dynamics of such small systems and the energy exchanges with the environment are stochastic.
Motivated by the experimental access to the dynamics of Brownian particles, the emerging field of stochastic thermodynamics has been developed as a robust framework that searches for universal laws that govern the thermodynamics of systems strongly affected by thermal fluctuations. Stochastic thermodynamics has successfully extended classical thermodynamic notions like work, heat or entropy to describe thermodynamic processes that occur at the mesoscale. Currently, stochastic thermodynamics is playing a leading role in the characterization and design of efficient artificial nanomachines.
Recently, our group has pioneered experimental constructions of microscopic engines using colloidal particles trapped by optical tweezers.
You can find further details about the project in GSM web page
These are my publications related to the project:
- Colloidal heat engines: a review
- Thermodynamics at the microscale: from effective heating to the Brownian Carnot engine
- Brownian Carnot engine
- Adiabatic processes realized with a trapped Brownian particle
- Measuring kinetic energy changes in the mesoscale with low acquisition rates