This thesis presents recent advances in the optimal control of stochastic thermodynamic systems. It covers isothermal stochastic thermodynamics, including the use of linear response, thermodynamic geometry, and optimal transport. New techniques for identifying minimum-dissipation protocols for fast and strong control are introduced, and the thermodynamic-geometry framework is extended to minimizing higher-order moments of the work distribution. Higher-order corrections beyond linear response are also derived. These concepts are demonstrated using a model of driven barrier crossing relevant to DNA-hairpin experiments and applied to free-energy estimation.
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Thesis advisor: Sivak, David
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