Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Inducing dynamical bistability by reversible compression of an optical piston

Gabriel Schnoering and Cyriaque Genet

We study the reversible crossover between stable and bistable phases of an overdamped Brownian bead inside an optical piston. The interaction potentials are solved developing a method based on Kramers's theory that exploits the statistical properties of the stochastic motion of the bead. We evaluate precisely the energy balance of the crossover. We show that the deformation of the optical potentials induced by the compression of the piston is related to a production of heat balanced between potential energy changes and the total amount of work performed by the piston. This reveals how specific thermodynamic processes can be designed and controlled with a high level of precision by tailoring the optical landscapes of the piston.

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