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Physics Colloquium Series: Professor Todd Gingrich
(Physics Lecture Series) Northwestern University, Department of Chemistry
“Nonequilibrium fluctuations in molecular machines: The thermodynamics cost of reliability”
Equilibrium dynamics obeys detailed balance, thereby prohibiting directional motion. To break free of this constraint, molecular machines must harvest energy from the environment. Understanding the dissipation associated with this energy harvesting is central to modern non- equilibrium statistical mechanics. I will explain some new connections between the dissipation and fluctuations in directed motion, which promises a route to infer the thermodynamic cost using experimentally- probed nonequilibrium fluctuations. Notably, the analysis does not rely on a “weak-forcing” or “linear-response” limit; the result applies to the far-from-equilibrium dynamics common to biochemical systems.