Two PhD studentships are available to work on a project funded by the Leverhulme Trust titled 'Exploring stochastic thermodynamics with optical traps', starting in 2013. The aim of this project is to use optical trapping experiments as a test-bed for fluctuation relations in non-equilibrium (driven) systems.
Project abstract: The theory of equilibrium statistical mechanics is well established, and has found direct or indirect confirmation in a wide range of experiments. This is not the case for the emerging field of non-equilibrium statistical mechanics. In this case, a general theory has yet to be formulated, although a number of theorems (e.g. fluctuation and work theorems) have been introduced to link different physical quantities in systems out of equilibrium. The aim of the proposed research is to develop further, through proof-of-principle experiments with optical traps, the foundations of non-equilibrium statistical mechanics, with a view towards a unified description.
Studentships will pay a stipend and fees at the rate applicable for UK and European Union students only.
Contact Dr Phil Jones for further details