Large deviation function for the entropy production: Optimal trajectory and role of fluctuations
We study the large deviation function for the entropy production rate in two driven one-dimensional systems: the asymmetric random walk on a discrete lattice and Brownian motion in a continuous periodic potential. We compare two approaches: the Donsker-Varadhan theory and the Freidlin-Wentzell theory. We show that the wings of the large deviation function are dominated by a single optimal trajectory: either in forward (positive rate) or in backward direction (negative rate). The joining of both branches at zero entropy production implies a non-differentiability and thus the appearance of a "kink". However, around zero entropy production many trajectories contribute and thus the kink is smeared out.