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Nonequilibrium fluctuations of a Brownian particle

Abstract : This thesis describes an experimental study on fluctuations of a Brownian particle immersed in a fluid, confined by optical tweezers and subject to two different kinds of non-equilibrium conditions. We aim to gain a rather general understanding of the relation between spontaneous fluctuations, linear response and total entropy production for processes away from thermal equilibrium. The first part addresses the motion of a colloidal particle driven into a periodic non-equilibrium steady state by a nonconservative force and its response to an external perturbation. The dynamics of the system is analyzed in the context of several generalized fluctuation-dissipation relations derived from different theoretical approaches. We show that, when taking into account the role of currents due to the broken detailed balance, the theoretical relations are verified by the experimental data. The second part deals with fluctuations and response of a Brownian particle in two different aging baths relaxing towards thermal equilibrium: a Laponite colloidal glass and an aqueous gelatin solution. The experimental results show that heat fluxes from the particle to the bath during the relaxation process play the same role of steady state currents as a non-equilibrium correction of the fluctuation-dissipation theorem. Then, the present thesis provides evidence that the total entropy production constitutes a unifying concept which links the statistical properties of fluctuations and the linear response function for non-equilibrium systems either in stationary or non stationary states.
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Submitted on : Monday, March 19, 2012 - 10:33:00 AM
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  • HAL Id : tel-00680302, version 1

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Juan Rubén Gomez-Solano. Nonequilibrium fluctuations of a Brownian particle. Other [cond-mat.other]. Ecole normale supérieure de lyon - ENS LYON, 2011. English. ⟨NNT : 2011ENSL0629⟩. ⟨tel-00680302⟩

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