Applied Physics A

, Volume 75, Issue 2, pp 169–178

Introduction to the physics of Brownian motors

  • P. Reimann
  • P. Hänggi
Article

Abstract.

A detailed introduction to directed transport in Brownian motors occurring in spatially periodic systems far from equilibrium is presented. We elucidate the prominent physical concepts and novel phenomena with a representative dissipative Brownian motor dynamics. Its main ingredient is a thermal noise with time-dependent temperature modulations that drive the system out of thermal equilibrium in a spatially asymmetric (ratchet-) potential. Yet, this asymmetric setup does not exhibit a concomitant obvious bias into one or the other direction of motion. Symmetry conditions for the appearance (or not) of directed current, its reversal upon variation of certain parameters, and various other generic features and applications are discussed. In addition, we provide a systematic classification scheme for Brownian motor models and review historical landmark contributions to the field.

PACS: 5.40.-a; 5.60.-k 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. Reimann
    • 1
  • P. Hänggi
    • 1
  1. 1.Universität Augsburg, Institut für Physik, Universitätsstr. 1, 86135 Augsburg, GermanyDE

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