The recent confluence of three subjects, Stochastic Control, Optimal Mass Transport, and Stochastic Thermodynamics, has allowed a deeper understanding of the mechanism by which physical contraptions (whether engineered or biological) can transform heat differentials or, as in the age-long conundrum of Maxwell's demon, information into useful work. Our goal in the talk is to overview some of these developments and highlight the geometric framework that allows quantitive assessments on the performance that stochastic thermodynamic engines are capable of. We will specifically focus on Brownian gyrating engines that consist of over-damped particles that are fed by sources of stochastic excitation and reside in a controlled potential.
The talk is based on joint works with Rui Fu (UCI), Olga Movilla (UCI), Amir Taghvaei (UCI) and Yongxin Chen (GaTech). Research funding by NSF and AFOSR is gratefully acknowledged.
Tryphon T. Georgiou was educated at the National Technical University of Athens, Greece, and the University of Florida, Gainesville (PhD 1983). He is currently a Distinguished Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at the University of California, Irvine. He is also Professor Emeritus at the University of Minnesota, where he held the Hermes-Luh Chair (2002-2016) and served as co-director of the Control Science and Dynamical Systems Center (1990-2016). Dr. Georgiou is a Fellow of the IEEE, SIAM, IFAC, and a Foreign Member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences (IVA).