Methods of contemporary mathematical statistical physics vol:1970 pages:247-306
We give a pedagogical introduction to a selection of recently discussed topics in nonequilibrium statistical mechanics, concentrating mostly on formal structures and on general principles. Part I contains an overview of the formalism of lattice gases that we use to explain various symmetries and inequalities generally valid for nonequilibrium systems, including the fluctuation symmetry, Jarzynski equality, and the direction of currents. That mostly concerns the time-antisymmetric part of dynamical fluctuation theory. We also briefly comment on recent attempts to combine that with the time-symmetric sector in a Langrangian or extended Onsager-Machlup approach. In Part II we concentrate on the macroscopic state and how entropy provides a bridge between microscopic dynamics and macroscopic irreversibility; included is a construction of quantum macroscopic states and a result on the equivalence of ensembles.