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How a finite potential barrier decreases the mean first-passage time

  • We consider the mean first-passage time of a random walker moving in a potential landscape on a finite interval, the starting and end points being at different potentials. From analytical calculations and Monte Carlo simulations we demonstrate that the mean first-passage time for a piecewise linear curve between these two points is minimized by the introduction of a potential barrier. Due to thermal fluctuations, this barrier may be crossed. It turns out that the corresponding expense for this activation is less severe than the gain from an increased slope towards the end point. In particular, the resulting mean first-passage time is shorter than for a linear potential drop between the two points.

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Metadaten
Author:Vladimir V. Palyulin, Ralf MetzlerORCiDGND
DOI:https://doi.org/10.1088/1742-5468/2012/03/L03001
ISSN:1742-5468 (print)
Parent Title (English):Journal of statistical mechanics: theory and experiment
Publisher:IOP Publ. Ltd.
Place of publication:Bristol
Document Type:Article
Language:English
Year of first Publication:2012
Year of Completion:2012
Release Date:2017/03/26
Tag:diffusion
Issue:1
Pagenumber:10
Funder:Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft; Academy of Finland
Organizational units:Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftliche Fakultät / Institut für Physik und Astronomie
Peer Review:Referiert