Entropy Production of Nanosystems with Time Scale Separation

Shou Wen Wang*, Kyogo Kawaguchi, Shin Ichi Sasa, Lei Han Tang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


Energy flows in biomolecular motors and machines are vital to their function. Yet experimental observations are often limited to a small subset of variables that participate in energy transport and dissipation. Here we show, through a solvable Langevin model, that the seemingly hidden entropy production is measurable through the violation spectrum of the fluctuation-response relation of a slow observable. For general Markov systems with time scale separation, we prove that the violation spectrum exhibits a characteristic plateau in the intermediate frequency region. Despite its vanishing height, the plateau can account for energy dissipation over a broad time scale. Our findings suggest a general possibility to probe hidden entropy production in nanosystems without direct observation of fast variables.

Original languageEnglish
Article number070601
Number of pages5
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 12 Aug 2016

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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