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Manacorda, Alessandro ; ; in Communications in Theoretical Physics (2014) We review a family of models recently introduced to describe Brownian motors under the influence of Coulomb friction, or more general non-linear friction laws. It is known that, if the heat bath is ... [more ▼] We review a family of models recently introduced to describe Brownian motors under the influence of Coulomb friction, or more general non-linear friction laws. It is known that, if the heat bath is modeled as the usual Langevin equation (linear viscosity plus white noise), additional non-linear friction forces are not sufficient to break detailed balance, i.e. cannot produce a motor effect. We discuss two possibile mechanisms to elude this problem. A first possibility, exploited in several models inspired to recent experiments, is to replace the heat bath's white noise by a "collisional noise", that is the effect of random collisions with an external equilibrium gas of particles. A second possibility is enlarging the phase space, e.g. by adding an external potential which couples velocity to position, as in a Klein—Kramers equation. In both cases, non-linear friction becomes sufficient to achieve a non-equilibrium steady state and, in the presence of an even small spatial asymmetry, a motor effect is produced. [less ▲] Detailed reference viewed: 37 (0 UL) |
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