Physical review. E, Statistical, nonlinear, and soft matter physics vol:74 issue:2 Pt 1
We consider a particle dragged through a medium at constant temperature as described by a Langevin equation with a time-dependent potential. The time dependence is specified by an external protocol. We give conditions on potential and protocol under which the fluctuations of the dissipative work satisfy an exact symmetry for all times. We also present counterexamples to that fluctuation theorem when our conditions are not satisfied. Finally, we consider the dissipated heat, which differs from the work by a temporal boundary term. We explain why there is a correction to the standard fluctuation theorem due to the unboundedness of that temporal boundary. However, the corrected fluctuation relation has again a general validity.