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Diffusion in flashing periodic potentials



The one-dimensional overdamped Brownian motion in a symmetric periodic potential modulated by external time-reversible noise is analyzed. The calculation of the effective diffusion coefficient is reduced to the mean first passage time problem. We derive general equations to calculate the effective diffusion coefficient of Brownian particles moving in arbitrary supersymmetric potential modulated by: (i) an external white Gaussian noise and (ii) a Markovian dichotomous noise. For both cases the exact expressions for the effective diffusion coefficient are derived. We obtain acceleration of diffusion in comparison with the free diffusion case for fast fluctuating potentials with arbitrary profile and for sawtooth potential in case (ii). In this case the parameter region where this effect can be observed is given. We obtain also a finite net diffusion in the absence of thermal noise. For rectangular potential the diffusion slows down, for all parameters of noise and of potential, in comparison with the case when particles diffuse freely. Copyright EDP Sciences/Società Italiana di Fisica/Springer-Verlag 2006

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