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Entropy 2016, 18(11), 394;

Rectification and Non-Gaussian Diffusion in Heterogeneous Media

Max-Planck-Institut für Intelligente Systeme, Heisenbergstr. 3, Stuttgart D-70569, Germany
IV. Institut für Theoretische Physik, Universität Stuttgart, Pfaffenwaldring 57, Stuttgart D-70569, Germany
Departament de Fìsica Fonamental, Universitat de Barcelona, Carrer Marti i Franques 1, Barcelona 08001, Spain
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Antonio M. Scarfone
Received: 6 October 2016 / Revised: 2 November 2016 / Accepted: 7 November 2016 / Published: 11 November 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nonequilibrium Phenomena in Confined Systems)
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We show that when Brownian motion takes place in a heterogeneous medium, the presence of local forces and transport coefficients leads to deviations from a Gaussian probability distribution that make that the ratio between forward and backward probabilities depend on the nature of the host medium, on local forces, and also on time. We have applied our results to two situations: diffusion in a disordered medium, and diffusion in a confined system. For such scenarios, we have shown that our theoretical predictions are in very good agreement with numerical results. Moreover, we have shown that the deviations from the Gaussian solution lead to the onset of rectification. Our predictions could be used to detect the presence of local forces and to characterize the intrinsic short-scale properties of the host medium—a problem of current interest in the study of micro- and nano-systems. View Full-Text
Keywords: rectification; entropic barrier; heterogeneous media rectification; entropic barrier; heterogeneous media

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Malgaretti, P.; Pagonabarraga, I.; Rubi, J.M. Rectification and Non-Gaussian Diffusion in Heterogeneous Media. Entropy 2016, 18, 394.

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