Chemical potentials in driven steady-state systems in contact : a large deviation approach

Abstract : This thesis deals with the statistical physics of out-of-equilibrium systems maintained in a steady state. More specifically, this work focuses on macroscopic conserved quantities (volume, mass, etc.) that can be exchanged between several out-of-equilibrium systems brought into contact. The contact between two systems is a fundamental situation in classical thermodynamics of equilibrium systems, since it allows one to define the notion of intensive thermodynamic parameter such as temperature, pressure, chemical potential, etc., derived from the same thermodynamic potential. For non-equilibrium steady state systems, the general existence of such intensive parameters remains an open issue. By focusing on the contact situation between two out-of-equilibrium stochastic systems on lattice in homogeneous states, we show the existence of a large deviation function attached to the overall densities of both systems, when the frequency of particle exchange between them is low. This large deviations function, analogous to a free energy, satisfies a so-called Hamilton-Jacobi equation. We identify the natural conditions for which the large deviation function is additive, leading to the definition of non-equilibrium chemical potentials. Nevertheless, we show that the latter generically depends on the contact dynamics and therefore do not obey any equation of state. In the absence of a macroscopic detailed balance, the Hamilton-Jacobi equation is much more difficult to solve. A perturbative analysis with respect to the driving forces allows one to show that additivity is generically broken. Beyond this additivity property, this large deviations function can – under certain assumptions – be related to the work applied by an external potential through a generalisation of the second law. We also discuss different ways to get access experimentally to this out-of-equilibrium free energy.Based on this general theoretical analysis, we eventually provide several illustrations on standard stochastic lattice models (Zero Range Process and Driven Lattice gases in particular) as well as a detailed analysis of an original, exactly solvable, mass transport model. Standard models of independent self-propelled particles are also discussed. The importance of the contact is eventually fully revealed, in agreement with recent literature, either in terms of the dynamics at contact itself or because of its position with respect to both systems.
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Jules Guioth. Chemical potentials in driven steady-state systems in contact : a large deviation approach. Statistical Mechanics [cond-mat.stat-mech]. Université Grenoble Alpes, 2018. English. ⟨NNT : 2018GREAY039⟩. ⟨tel-02000994v2⟩

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