The Length of Time's Arrow

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An unresolved problem in physics is how the thermodynamic arrow of time arises from an underlying time reversible dynamics. We contribute to this issue by developing a measure of time-symmetry breaking, and by using the work fluctuation relations, we determine the time asymmetry of recent single molecule RNA unfolding experiments. We define time asymmetry as the Jensen-Shannon divergencebetween trajectory probability distributions of an experiment and its time-reversed conjugate. Among other interesting properties, the length of time's arrow bounds the average dissipation and determines the difficulty of accurately estimating free energy differences in nonequilibrium experiments.

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Feng, Edward H. & Crooks, Gavin E. August 21, 2008.

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An unresolved problem in physics is how the thermodynamic arrow of time arises from an underlying time reversible dynamics. We contribute to this issue by developing a measure of time-symmetry breaking, and by using the work fluctuation relations, we determine the time asymmetry of recent single molecule RNA unfolding experiments. We define time asymmetry as the Jensen-Shannon divergencebetween trajectory probability distributions of an experiment and its time-reversed conjugate. Among other interesting properties, the length of time's arrow bounds the average dissipation and determines the difficulty of accurately estimating free energy differences in nonequilibrium experiments.

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  • Journal Name: Physical Review Letters; Journal Volume: 101; Related Information: Journal Publication Date: 2008

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  • Report No.: LBNL-1923E
  • Grant Number: DE-AC02-05CH11231
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 960275
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc928820

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) is the Department of Energy (DOE) office that collects, preserves, and disseminates DOE-sponsored research and development (R&D) results that are the outcomes of R&D projects or other funded activities at DOE labs and facilities nationwide and grantees at universities and other institutions.

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  • August 21, 2008

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Nov. 13, 2016, 7:26 p.m.

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  • Nov. 18, 2016, 2:53 p.m.

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Feng, Edward H. & Crooks, Gavin E. The Length of Time's Arrow, article, August 21, 2008; Berkeley, California. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc928820/: accessed April 23, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.