Dresden 2009 – wissenschaftliches Programm

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DY: Fachverband Dynamik und Statistische Physik

DY 12: Poster I

DY 12.23: Poster

Dienstag, 24. März 2009, 14:30–16:30, P1A

Relaxation into stationary nonequilibrium — •Jakob Mehl, Valentin Blickle, and Clemens Bechinger — 2. Physikalisches Insitut, Universität Stuttgart, Germany

By now, the physics of equilibrium states is well understood. One remarkable feature is that equilibrium states are characterized by a relaxation time, which is independent of initial conditions. In contrast, the relaxation of a nonequilibrium stationary state (NESS) is a priori unknown. By combining colloidal particles, rotating laser tweezers, and video microscopy, we study experimentally the transitions between two well-defined NESS. Our experiments prove, that likewise to an equilibrium state, a NESS is characterized by an intrinsic relaxation time. Furthermore, this time constant crucially depends on how far the system is driven out of thermal equilibrium. In accordance with theoretical predictions, the relaxation time monotonically increases with driving strength.

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