Thermodynamic uncertainty relations constrain non-equilibrium fluctuations

Jordan M. Horowitz*, Todd R. Gingrich

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

145 Scopus citations


In equilibrium thermodynamics, there exists a well-established connection between dynamical fluctuations of a physical system and the dissipation of its energy into an environment. However, few similarly quantitative tools are available for the description of physical systems out of equilibrium. Here, we offer our perspective on the recent development of a new class of inequalities known as thermodynamic uncertainty relations, which have revealed that dissipation constrains current fluctuations in steady states arbitrarily far from equilibrium. We discuss the stochastic thermodynamic origin of these inequalities, and highlight recent efforts to expand their applicability, which have focused on connections between current fluctuations and the fluctuation theorems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)15-20
Number of pages6
JournalNature Physics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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