Symmetry of deterministic ratchets

V. M. Rozenbaum*, I. V. Shapochkina, Yoshiaki Teranishi, L. I. Trakhtenberg

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


We consider the overdamped motion of a Brownian particle in an unbiased force field described by a periodic function of coordinate and time. A compact analytical representation has been obtained for the average particle velocity as a series in the inverse friction coefficient, from which follows a simple and clear proof of hidden symmetries of ratchets, reflecting the symmetry of summation indices of the applied force harmonics relative to their numbering from left to right and from right to left. We revealed the conditions under which (i) the ratchet effect is absent; (ii) the ratchet average velocity is an even or odd functional of the applied force, whose dependences on spatial and temporal variables are characterized by periodic functions of the main types of symmetries: Shift, symmetric, and antisymmetric, and universal, which combines all three types. These conditions have been specified for forces with those dependences of a multiplicative (or additive-multiplicative) and additive structure describing two main ratchet types, pulsating and forced ratchets. We found the fundamental difference in dependences of the average velocity of pulsating and forced ratchets on parameters of spatial and temporal asymmetry of potential energy of a particle for systems in which the spatial and temporal dependence is described by a sawtooth potential and a deterministic dichotomous process, respectively. In particular, it is shown that a pulsating ratchet with a multiplicative structure of its potential energy cannot move directionally if the energy is of the universal symmetry type in time; this restriction is removed in the inertial regime, but only if the coordinate dependence of the energy does not belong to either symmetric or antisymmetric functions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number022115
JournalPhysical Review E
Issue number2
StatePublished - 13 Aug 2019


Dive into the research topics of 'Symmetry of deterministic ratchets'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this