TY - JOUR

T1 - How a finite potential barrier decreases the mean first-passage time

AU - Palyulin, Vladimir V.

AU - Metzler, Ralf

PY - 2012/3

Y1 - 2012/3

N2 - We consider the mean first-passage time of a random walker moving in a potential landscape on a finite interval, the starting and end points being at different potentials. From analytical calculations and Monte Carlo simulations we demonstrate that the mean first-passage time for a piecewise linear curve between these two points is minimized by the introduction of a potential barrier. Due to thermal fluctuations, this barrier may be crossed. It turns out that the corresponding expense for this activation is less severe than the gain from an increased slope towards the end point. In particular, the resulting mean first-passage time is shorter than for a linear potential drop between the two points.

AB - We consider the mean first-passage time of a random walker moving in a potential landscape on a finite interval, the starting and end points being at different potentials. From analytical calculations and Monte Carlo simulations we demonstrate that the mean first-passage time for a piecewise linear curve between these two points is minimized by the introduction of a potential barrier. Due to thermal fluctuations, this barrier may be crossed. It turns out that the corresponding expense for this activation is less severe than the gain from an increased slope towards the end point. In particular, the resulting mean first-passage time is shorter than for a linear potential drop between the two points.

KW - diffusion

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84858765874&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1088/1742-5468/2012/03/L03001

DO - 10.1088/1742-5468/2012/03/L03001

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:84858765874

VL - 2012

JO - Journal of Statistical Mechanics: Theory and Experiment

JF - Journal of Statistical Mechanics: Theory and Experiment

SN - 1742-5468

IS - 3

M1 - L03001

ER -