We propose an experimental setup to measure the work performed in a normal-metal/insulator/superconducting (NIS) junction, subjected to a voltage change and in contact with a thermal bath. We compute the performed work and argue that the associated heat release can be measured experimentally. Our results are based on an equivalence between the dynamics of the NIS junction and that of an assembly of two-level systems subjected to a circularly polarised field, for which we can determine the work-characteristic function exactly. The average work dissipated by the NIS junction, as well as its fluctuations, are determined. From the work characteristic function, we also compute the work probability-distribution and show that it does not have a Gaussian character. Our results allow for a direct experimental test of the Crooks–Tasaki fluctuation relation.
- Nonequilibrium and irreversible thermodynamics
- Crooks–Tasaki fluctuation relation
- Proximity effects
- Andreev reflection
- SN and SNS junctions
- Tunneling phenomena
- Josephson effects