"Scaling Down the Laws of Thermodynamics"
Christopher Jarzynski, University of Maryland - College Park
Thermodynamics provides a robust conceptual framework and set of laws that govern the exchange of energy and matter. Although these laws were originally articulated for macroscopic objects, it is hard to deny that nanoscale systems, as well, often exhibit “thermodynamic-like” behavior. To what extent can the venerable laws of thermodynamics be scaled down to apply to individual microscopic systems, and what new features emerge at the nanoscale?