Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics of Small Systems

Lunedì, 18 Settembre, 2017

Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics of Small Systems
Rome, September 18-20, 2017
Aula Conversi

A challenging frontier in statistical physics concerns systems with a small number N of degrees of freedom, far from the thermodynamic limit: such an interest is motivated by the recent increase of resolution in the observation and in the manipulation of the micro-nano world. The peculiar feature of small systems is the relevance of fluctuations, which cannot be neglected. The study of fluctuations of thermodynamic quantities, such as energy or entropy, goes back to Einstein, Onsager and Kubo: more recently it has taken an acceleration with the establishing of new results in response theory and in the so-called stochastic thermodynamics. Such a turning point has received a great impulse from the study of systems which are far from thermodynamic equilibrium. Applications of the thermodynamics and statistical mechanics of small systems range from molecular biology to micromechanics, including, among others, models of nanotransport, of Brownian motors and of (living or artificial) self-propelled organisms.