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Phys Rev Lett. 2008 Nov 7;101(19):190603. Epub 2008 Nov 7.

Critical asymmetry for giant diffusion of active Brownian particles.

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  • 1Max-Planck-Institut für Physik komplexer Systeme, Nöthnitzer Str. 38 01187 Dresden, Germany.


We study the effect of an asymmetry on the transport properties of an active Brownian particle. We demonstrate the existence of a critical force or, more generally, of a critical asymmetry that separates parameter regimes of giant diffusion from those with reliable directed transport. We derive a condition for the critical asymmetry by means of an exact expression for the diffusion coefficient and by a simplified discrete picture. A critical asymmetry, as predicted by the simple model, is also found in a detailed model of coupled molecular motors displaying bidirectional motion.

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