The Thermal Ratchets Model for Transport of Diffusive Particles

Das, Abhranil (2013) The Thermal Ratchets Model for Transport of Diffusive Particles. Masters thesis, Indian Institute of Science Education and Research Kolkata.

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Average displacement of a diffusing particle from its starting point is zero at all times. Hence, a population of such particles may only be transported in a particular direction by applying a drift-inducing external potential. However, a potential that exerts a force whose space-average is zero is not expected to result in transport (i.e. a flux whose space-average is non-zero). One such potential is the 'ratchet' potential, named so because its asymmetric sawtooth shape resembles the mechanical rectifying device called a ratchet. Surprisingly, if such a potential is turned on and off periodically or even stochastically, it results in a transport of the particles in the direction of its gentler slope. This 'thermal ratchets model' explains several transport phenomena observed in nature, including the transport of vital materials by molecular walkers along the cytoskeleton inside the living cell. Several papers in the 1990s studied this model and the resultant flux via analytical, computational and experimental approaches. In this thesis we employ a new approach of study, via a numerical solution of the drift-diffusion equation, which offers several advantages and the promise of new insights over the older methods. With this method we have been able to probe the previously unexplored regime of high alternating rate that does not allow adiabatic relaxation. One of the more surprising results is that even in such a case the system settles into periodic dynamics asymptotically.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Additional Information: Supervisor: Prof. Soumitro Banerjee
Uncontrolled Keywords: Thermal Ratchets Model; Diffusive Particles; Monte Carlo Simulation;
Subjects: Q Science > QC Physics
Divisions: Faculty of Engineering, Science and Mathematics > School of Physics
Depositing User: IISER Kolkata Librarian
Date Deposited: 06 May 2013 10:28
Last Modified: 12 Nov 2014 04:56

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