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A lower bound on work extraction probability prescribed by nonequilibrium work relation
1  Kanagawa University


In nonequilibrium processes, work extraction from a system is subject to random fluctuations associated with the statistical distribution prescribed by its environment. The probability of extracting work above a given arbitrary threshold can be a measure of restriction imposed by experimental circumstances. We present a lower bound for the probability when the work value lies in a finite range. For the case of unrestricted maximum work, the lower bound gets larger as the free energy difference between initial and final states becomes larger. We point out also that an upper bound previously reported in the literature is a direct consequence of the well-known second mean value theorem for definite integrals.

Keywords: work extraction probability; nonequilibrium work relation; free energy difference
Comments on this paper
Miguel Rubi
Bounds on work extraction
It is well known that the maximum work one can extract from a system, in the absence of loses, is given by the free energy difference between the initial and final state of the system. This result holds in equilibrium. For non-equilibrium small-scale systems one has to consider the presence of fluctuations that may change the bound

Takuya Yamano
Yes, work extraction under fluctuations for small systems seems certainly a frontier. One needs further investigation.