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Single molecule pulling experiments provide information about interactions in biomolecules that cannot be obtained by any other method. However, the reconstruction of the molecule’s free energy profile from the experimental data is still a challenge, in particular, for the unstable barrier regions. We propose a new method for obtaining the full profile by introducing a periodic ramp and using Jarzynski’s relation for obtaining equilibrium quantities from nonequilibrium data. Our simulated experiments show that this method delivers significant more accurate data than previous methods, under the constraint of equal experimental effort.


©2004 American Physical Society. Original published version available at

Publication Title

Physical Review Letters





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