Berlin 2012 – wissenschaftliches Programm

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DY: Fachverband Dynamik und Statistische Physik

DY 22: Posters I

DY 22.56: Poster

Mittwoch, 28. März 2012, 17:00–19:00, Poster A

Still wanted: a ubiquitous source of entropy. — •Jürgen Schlitter — Biophysik, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, ND04 Nord, 44780 Bochum, Germany

From time to time, physicists or philosophers of science complain about the cleft between thermodynamics and statistical physics [1]. Recent approaches postulate implicitly the existence of equilibria [2-4]. Like older resorts to Jaynes' principle of equilibria as constrained states of maximum entropy, all of these theories avoid considering the equilibration/relaxation. However, the underlying dynamics is the very phenomenon to be explained.

Physical or chemical relaxation in gas phase was accurately described via inelastic collisions. Such collisions are omnipresent due to numerous low-energy levels in molecules and condensed matter. On the theoretical side, the key assumption for their description is stochasticity of the involved quantum transitions, which could explain their role as a ubiquitous source of entropy. Therefore, we discuss the possibility to accept stochastic transitions as indispensable, non-Hamiltonian elements of quantum dynamics and to regard the second law as their macroscopic consequence [5]. This view is supported by considerations on irreversibility and the loss of information. Further experimental verification seems possible.

References: 1)T. Rothman, Am. Scientist 99 (3) (2011) 186; Spektrum Wiss. 2 (2012) 61 2)C. Jarzinski, Phys. Rev. E 56 (5) (1997), 5018 3)R. Kawai et al. Phys. Rev. Letters 98 (8) (2007) 4)J. Schlitter, Mol. Phys. 104 (18) (2006), 2829 5)J. Schlitter arXiv:1104.4272 (2011)

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