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Abstract: We compare two predictions regarding the microscopic fluctuations of a systemthat is driven away from equilibrium: one due to Crooks J. Stat. Phys. 90,1481 1998 which has gained recent attention in the context of nonequilibriumwork and fluctuation theorems, and an earlier, analogous result obtained byBochkov and Kuzovlev Zh. Eksp. Teor. Fiz. 721, 238247 1977. Both resultsquantify irreversible behavior by comparing probabilities of observingparticular microscopic trajectories during thermodynamic processes related bytime-reversal, and both are expressed in terms of the work performed whendriving the system away from equilibrium. By deriving these two predictionswithin a single, Hamiltonian framework, we clarify the precise relationshipbetween them, and discuss how the different definitions of work used by the twosets of authors gives rise to different physical interpretations. We thenobtain a extended fluctuation relation that contains both the Crooks and theBochkov-Kuzovlev results as special cases.

Author: Jordan Horowitz, Christopher Jarzynski


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