Ratchet due to broken friction symmetry

Bengt Norden, Yaroslav Zolotaryuk, Peter Leth Christiansen, Alexander Zolotaryuk

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    Abstract

    A ratchet mechanism that occurs due to asymmetric dependence of the friction of a moving system on its velocity or a driving force is reported. For this kind of ratchet, instead of a particle moving in a periodic potential, the dynamics of which have broken space-time symmetry, the system must be provided with sonic internal structure realizing such a velocity- or force-friction dependence. For demonstration of a ratchet mechanism of this type, an experimental setup (gadget) that converts longitudinal oscillating or fluctuating motion into a unidirectional rotation has been built and experiments with it have been carried out. In this device, an asymmetry of friction dependence on an applied force appears, resulting in rectification of rotary motion, In experiments, our setup is observed to rotate only in one direction, which is in accordance with given theoretical arguments, Despite the setup being three dimensional, the ratchet rotary motion is proved to be described by one dynamical equation. This kind of motion is a result of the interplay of friction and inertia. We also consider a case with viscous friction, which is irrelevant to this gadget, but it can be a possible mechanism of rotary unidirectional motion of some swimming organisms in a liquid.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalPhysical Review E. Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics
    Volume65
    Issue number1
    Pages (from-to)011110
    ISSN1063-651X
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2002

    Bibliographical note

    Copyright (2002) American Physical Society

    Keywords

    • MICROORGANISMS
    • CHAOTIC TRANSPORT
    • ELECTROPHORESIS
    • CYANOBACTERIA
    • PROPULSION
    • DYNAMICS
    • DRY-FRICTION
    • MOLECULAR MOTORS
    • INERTIA RATCHETS
    • DIRECTIONAL MOTION

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