On the speed of fluctuations around thermodynamic equilibrium

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)

36 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We study the speed of fluctuations of a quantum system around its equilibrium state, and show that the speed is extremely small at almost all times in typical thermodynamic cases. This suggests an alternative view on the nature of thermal equilibrium and, in particular, of the origin of thermal fluctuations. We argue that instead of equilibrium being a dynamical process in which the system actively fluctuates in time, the fluctuations are due to quantum uncertainties in an essentially static state.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)055021-1 - 055021-4
Number of pages4
JournalNew Journal of Physics
Volume12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2010

Bibliographical note

Publisher: Institute of Physics Publishing

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