Journal of Statistical Physics

, Volume 53, Issue 1, pp 233–248

Motion out of noisy states

  • Rolf Landauer

DOI: 10.1007/BF01011555

Cite this article as:
Landauer, R. J Stat Phys (1988) 53: 233. doi:10.1007/BF01011555


The relative occupation of competing states of local stability is not determined solely by the characteristics of the locally favored states, but depends on the noise along the whole path connecting the competing states. This is not new, but the sophistication of most modern treatments has obscured the simplicity of this central point, and here it is argued for in simple physical terms. In addition, recent work by van Kampen and by Büttiker, for particles in closed loops, subject to a force field, heavy damping, and a temperature which is a function of position in the loop, are supplemented. In that case, circulating currents are set up, and these are evaluated. A final speculative section emphasizes the difficulty in calculating the long-term time evolution of the probability distribution in complex multistable systems with state-dependent noise.

Key words

Relative stabilitycirculating currentstemperature gradientsforce fieldsstate-dependent noise

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rolf Landauer
    • 1
  1. 1.IBM Thomas J. Watson Research CenterYorktown Heights