Low thermal fluctuations in a system heated out of equilibrium

Abstract : We study the mechanical fluctuations of a micrometer sized silicon cantilever subjected to a strong heat flow, thus having a highly non-uniform local temperature. In this non-equilibrium steady state, we show that fluctuations are equivalent to the thermal noise of a cantilever at equilibrium around room temperature, while its mean local temperature is several hundred of degrees higher. Changing the mechanical dissipation by adding a coating to the cantilever, we recover the expected rise of fluctuations with the mean temperature. Our work demonstrates that inhomogeneous dissipation mechanisms can decouple the amplitude of thermal fluctuations from the average temperature. This property could be useful to understand out-of-equilibrium fluctuating systems, or to engineer low noise instruments.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, April 5, 2017 - 1:56:42 PM
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Mickael Geitner, Felipe A. Aguilar Sandoval, Éric Bertin, Ludovic Bellon. Low thermal fluctuations in a system heated out of equilibrium. Physical Review E , American Physical Society (APS), 2017, 95, pp.032138. ⟨http://journals.aps.org/pre/abstract/10.1103/PhysRevE.95.032138⟩. ⟨10.1103/PhysRevE.95.032138⟩. ⟨ensl-01399273v2⟩

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