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ISRN Thermodynamics
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 528737, 5 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.5402/2012/528737
Research Article

Thermodynamic Derivation of the Fluctuation Theorem and Jarzynski Equality

Department of Meteorology, University of Reading, Reading RG6 6BB, UK

Received 14 February 2012; Accepted 15 March 2012

Academic Editors: M. Appell, C. Pierleoni, and Z. Slanina

Copyright © 2012 Maarten H. P. Ambaum. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

A thermodynamic expression for the analog of the canonical ensemble for nonequilibrium systems is described based on a purely information theoretical interpretation of entropy. It is shown that this nonequilibrium canonical distribution implies some important results from nonequilibrium thermodynamics, specifically, the fluctuation theorem and the Jarzynski equality. Those results are therefore expected to be more widely applicable, for example, to macroscopic systems.