*Physical Review Letters*on July 31, 2024. Communication by CNRS Physics on September 2, 2024.

**Experiments on a classical microscopic system show that, while the second principle of thermodynamics is still valid on average, it can be circumvented experimentally in 95% of cases! A study conducted at the Physics Laboratory of ENS de Lyon, published in**

**Physical Review Letters****.**

We demonstrate experimentally that, applying optimal protocols that drive the system between two equilibrium states characterized by a free energy difference «F, we can maximize the probability of performing the transition between the two states with a work W smaller than »F. The second law holds only on average, resulting in the inequality

=?F can be larger than 95%. Very fast protocols are a key feature to obtain these results, which are explained in terms of the Jarzynski equality.

## Reference

**Probabilistic Work Extraction on a Classical Oscillator Beyond the Second Law**. Nicolas Barros, Sergio Ciliberto, and Ludovic Bellon. DOI : 10.1103/PhysRevLett.133.057101 10.48550/arXiv.2402.18556