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Title: Experimental realization of Feynman’s ratchet

Abstract

Feynman's ratchet is a microscopic machine in contact with two heat reservoirs, at temperatures T A and T B, that was proposed by Richard Feynman to illustrate the second law of thermodynamics. In equilibrium (T A = T B), thermal fluctuations prevent the ratchet from generating directed motion. When the ratchet is maintained away from equilibrium by a temperature difference (T A≠T B), it can operate as a heat engine, rectifying thermal fluctuations to perform work. While it has attracted much interest, the operation of Feynman's ratchet as a heat engine has not been realized experimentally, due to technical challenges. In this work, we realize Feynman's ratchet with a colloidal particle in a one dimensional optical trap in contact with two heat reservoirs: one is the surrounding water, while the effect of the other reservoir is generated by a novel feedback mechanism, using the Metropolis algorithm to impose detailed balance. We verify that the system does not produce work when T A = T B, and that it becomes a microscopic heat engine when T A≠T B. We analyze work, heat and entropy production as functions of the temperature difference and external load. As a result, our experimental realization ofmore » Feynman's ratchet and the Metropolis algorithm can also be used to study the thermodynamics of feedback control and information processing, the working mechanism of molecular motors, and controllable particle transportation.« less

Authors:
 [1]; ORCiD logo [2];  [3];  [1]; ORCiD logo [4];  [5];  [1]
  1. Purdue Univ., West Lafayette, IN (United States)
  2. Peking Univ., Beijing (People's Republic of China)
  3. Purdue Univ., West Lafayette, IN (United States); Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States)
  4. Univ. of Maryland, College Park, MD (United States)
  5. Peking Univ., Beijing (People's Republic of China); Collaborative Innovation Center of Quantum Matter, Beijing (People's Republic of China)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)
OSTI Identifier:
1429695
Report Number(s):
SAND-2017-12705J
Journal ID: ISSN 1367-2630; 658965; TRN: US1802313
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC04-94AL85000
Resource Type:
Journal Article: Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
New Journal of Physics
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 20; Journal Issue: 10; Journal ID: ISSN 1367-2630
Publisher:
IOP Publishing
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
42 ENGINEERING; Feynman's ratchet; Brownian ratchet; optical tweezers; non-equilibrium thermodynamics

Citation Formats

Bang, Jaehoon, Pan, Rui, Hoang, Thai M., Ahn, Jonghoon, Jarzynski, Christopher, Quan, H. T., and Li, Tongcang. Experimental realization of Feynman’s ratchet. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.1088/1367-2630/aae71f.
Bang, Jaehoon, Pan, Rui, Hoang, Thai M., Ahn, Jonghoon, Jarzynski, Christopher, Quan, H. T., & Li, Tongcang. Experimental realization of Feynman’s ratchet. United States. doi:10.1088/1367-2630/aae71f.
Bang, Jaehoon, Pan, Rui, Hoang, Thai M., Ahn, Jonghoon, Jarzynski, Christopher, Quan, H. T., and Li, Tongcang. Thu . "Experimental realization of Feynman’s ratchet". United States. doi:10.1088/1367-2630/aae71f. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1429695.
@article{osti_1429695,
title = {Experimental realization of Feynman’s ratchet},
author = {Bang, Jaehoon and Pan, Rui and Hoang, Thai M. and Ahn, Jonghoon and Jarzynski, Christopher and Quan, H. T. and Li, Tongcang},
abstractNote = {Feynman's ratchet is a microscopic machine in contact with two heat reservoirs, at temperatures TA and TB, that was proposed by Richard Feynman to illustrate the second law of thermodynamics. In equilibrium (TA = TB), thermal fluctuations prevent the ratchet from generating directed motion. When the ratchet is maintained away from equilibrium by a temperature difference (TA≠TB), it can operate as a heat engine, rectifying thermal fluctuations to perform work. While it has attracted much interest, the operation of Feynman's ratchet as a heat engine has not been realized experimentally, due to technical challenges. In this work, we realize Feynman's ratchet with a colloidal particle in a one dimensional optical trap in contact with two heat reservoirs: one is the surrounding water, while the effect of the other reservoir is generated by a novel feedback mechanism, using the Metropolis algorithm to impose detailed balance. We verify that the system does not produce work when TA = TB, and that it becomes a microscopic heat engine when TA≠TB. We analyze work, heat and entropy production as functions of the temperature difference and external load. As a result, our experimental realization of Feynman's ratchet and the Metropolis algorithm can also be used to study the thermodynamics of feedback control and information processing, the working mechanism of molecular motors, and controllable particle transportation.},
doi = {10.1088/1367-2630/aae71f},
journal = {New Journal of Physics},
issn = {1367-2630},
number = 10,
volume = 20,
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {10}
}

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