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Biological physics

Rare returns on lost effort

How does the size of a system affect its thermodynamic irreversibility? A deft experiment that observes the unfolding and refolding of a single molecule of RNA provides insights into the question at a small scale.

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Figure 1: Stirring stuff.

S. RELLANDINI/REUTERS

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Wong, W., Evans, E. Rare returns on lost effort. Nature 437, 198–199 (2005). https://doi.org/10.1038/437198a

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