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Acc Chem Res. 2001 Jun;34(6):412-20.

The physics of molecular motors.

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  • 1Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Department of Physics, University of California, Berkeley, California 94720, USA.


Molecular motors convert chemical energy into mechanical force and movement. Operating at energies just above those of the thermal bath, these motors experience large fluctuations, and their physical description must be necessarily stochastic. Here, motor operation is described as a biased diffusion on a potential energy surface defined by the interactions of the motor with its track and its fuel. These ideas are illustrated with a model of the rotary movement of the F(o) motor.

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