a1 Laboratorio di Cibernetica e Biofisica, CNR, Camogli, Italy; Laboratorium für Biochemie, ETH, Zürich, Switzerland
a2 Laboratorio di Cibernetica e Biofisica, CNR, Camogli, Italy
The basic principles underlying fluctuation phenomena in thermodynamics have long been understood (for reviews see Kubo, 1957; Kubo, Matsuo & Kazuhiro 1973 Lax, 1960). Classical examples of how fluctuation analysis can provide an insight into the corpuscular nature of matter are the determination of Avogadro's number according to Einstein's theory of Brownian motion (see, e.g. Uhlenbeck & Ornstein, 1930; Kac, 1947) and the evaluation of the electronic charge from the shot noise in vacuum tubes (see Van der Ziel, 1970).