Stochastic thermodynamics allows us to define heat and work for microscopic systems far from thermodynamic equilibrium, based on observations of their stochastic dynamics. However, a complete account of the energetics necessitates that all relevant nonequilibrium degrees of freedom are resolved, which is not feasible in many experimental situations. A simple approach is to map the visible dynamics onto a Markov model, which produces a lower-bound estimate of the entropy production. The bound, however, can be quite loose, especially when the visible dynamics only have small or vanishing observable currents. An alternative approach is presented that uses all observable data to find an underlying hidden Markov model responsible for generating the observed non-Markovian dynamics. For masked Markovian kinetic networks, one obtains the tightest possible lower bound on entropy production of the full dynamics that is compatible with the observable data. The formalism is illustrated with a simple example system.
Journal of Statistical Mechanics: Theory and Experiment
- Pub Date:
- August 2021
- stochastic thermodynamics;
- fluctuation phenomena;
- Condensed Matter - Statistical Mechanics
- 22 pages, 10 figures