Title: Optimal protocols in stochastic thermodynamics
Abstract:
Thermodynamics of small systems has become an important field of
statistical physics. They are driven out of equilibrium by a control,
and the question is naturally posed how such a control can be optimized.
We show that optimization problems in small system thermodynamics are
solved by (deterministic) optimal transport, for which very efficient
numerical methods have been developed, and of which there are
applications in Cosmology, fluid mechanics, logistics, and many other
fields. We show, in particular, that minimizing expected heat released
or work done during a non-equilibrium transition in finite time is
solved by Burgers equation of Cosmology and mass transport by the
Burgers velocity field. Our contribution hence considerably extends the
range of solvable optimization problems in small system thermodynamics.