Regular and Chaotic Dynamics

, Volume 16, Issue 1–2, pp 117–127 | Cite as

A free energy based mathematical study for molecular motors

  • Shui-Nee ChowEmail author
  • Wen Huang
  • Yao Li
  • Haomin Zhou


We present a Parrondo’s paradox for free energy in a classical flashing ratchet model and use it as an alternative way to interpret the working mechanism of molecular motors. We also study the efficiency of molecular motors measured by their free energies. Our example demonstrates that a molecular motor can gain up to 20% in its free energy during the process. In addition, we report a noise induced free energy increasing phenomenon, which is similar to the stochastic resonance, in flashing ratchet models.


molecular motors Parrondo’s paradox 

MSC2010 numbers

37H10 60J27 60J60 


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Copyright information

© Pleiades Publishing, Ltd. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of MathematicsGeorgia Institute of TechnologyAtlantaUSA
  2. 2.Department of mathematicsUniversity of science and Technology of ChinaHefei AnhuiP. R. China

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