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Extended equipartition in a mechanical system subject to a heat flow: the case of localised dissipation

Abstract : Statistical physics in equilibrium grants us one of its most powerful tools: the equipartition principle. It states that the degrees of freedom of a mechanical system act as a thermometer: temperature is equal to the mean variance of their oscillations divided by their stiffness. However, when a non-equilibrium state is considered, this principle is no longer valid. In our experiment, we study the fluctuations of a micro-cantilever subject to a strong heat flow, which creates a highly non-uniform local temperature. We measure independently the temperature profile of the object and the temperature yielded from the mechanical thermometers, thus testing the validity of the equipartition principle out of equilibrium. We demonstrate how the fluctuations of the most energetic degrees of freedom are equivalent to the temperature at the base of the cantilever, even when the average temperature is several hundreds of degrees higher. We then present a model based on the localised mechanical dissipation in the system to account for our results, which correspond to mechanical losses localised at the clamping position.
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Contributor : Ludovic Bellon <>
Submitted on : Tuesday, July 21, 2020 - 4:34:44 PM
Last modification on : Monday, November 30, 2020 - 12:24:01 PM

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Alex Fontana, Richard Pedurand, Ludovic Bellon. Extended equipartition in a mechanical system subject to a heat flow: the case of localised dissipation. Journal of Statistical Mechanics: Theory and Experiment, IOP Publishing, 2020, 2020 (7), pp.073206. ⟨10.1088/1742-5468/ab97b1⟩. ⟨ensl-02473685v2⟩

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