Current reversals of coupled driven and damped particles evolving in a tilted potential landscape

Colm Mulhern, Dirk Hennig

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We explore the driven and damped dynamics of two coupled particles evolving in a symmetric and periodic substrate potential that is subjected to a static bias force. In addition, each particle is time-periodically driven with the same magnitude as, but out of phase to, its counterpart. It is shown that, for a certain parameter regime, the coupled particles can become self-organized and go against the direction of the bias force. This self-organization involves the particles becoming frequency locked with the driving force, and thus periodic motion ensues. We employ numerical arguments to show that running periodic states provide solutions of the system. Further, heuristic evidence is provided explaining how the two particles can travel against the bias force. In an effort to unearth coupling phenomena within the system, a detailed analysis of how the coupling strength affects the nonlinear dynamics is carried out. We show that within a range of coupling strengths the existence of periodic running solutions associated with negative mobility. To examine the robustness of our results we compare the deterministic system with the corresponding Langevin system. It is shown that, below a critical temperature, the qualitative behavior of the system remains the same.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)036202
Number of pages1
JournalPhysical Review E
Issue number3 pt 2
Publication statusPublished - 2011


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