Stochastic processes and thermodynamics of unstable systems

Leviational photonics team in cooperation with scientists from Palacky University Olomouc, CZ, Charles University Prague, CZ,  introduced a new approach for description of random processes in unstable systems.  The research was published in Physical Review Letters 121, 230601, DOI 10.1103/PhysRevLett.121.230601



Stochastic motion of particles in a highly unstable potential generates a number of diverging trajectories leading to undefined statistical moments of the particle position. This makes experiments challenging and breaks down a standard statistical analysis of unstable mechanical processes and their applications. A newly proposed approach takes advantage of the local characteristics of the most probable particle motion instead of the divergent averages. We experimentally verify its theoretical predictions for a Brownian particle moving near an inflection in a highly unstable cubic optical potential. The most likely position of the particle atypically shifts against the force, despite the trajectories diverging in the opposite direction. The demonstrated experimental confirmation of the theoretical predictions approves the utility of local characteristics for highly unstable systems which can be exploited in thermodynamic processes to uncover energetics of unstable systems.

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