Dissipation, fluctuations and conservation laws

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15 Citations (Scopus)


A large particle moves through a sea of small particles. On the microscale, all particle collisions are elastic. However, on the macroscale, where only the large particle is properly resolved, dissipative forces and fluctuating random forces are observed. These forces are connected by a fluctuation–dissipationtheorem proved in two different ways, first via statistical mechanics, and second from fundamental classical mechanical principles of momentum and energy conservation. The novel classical mechanics proof elucidates the relation between micro- and macroscale behaviors, and offers new insights into the physics behind the fluctuation–dissipation result.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)113-119
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Physics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2001


  • particle fluctuations
  • classical mechanics
  • classical statistical mechanics
  • conservation laws
  • elastic collisions


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