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Relative stability in nonuniform temperature

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1 Author(s)
van Kampen, N.G. ; Institute for Theoretical Physics of the University at Utrecht, Princetonplein 5, 3584 CC, The Netherlands

Landauer has suggested that the relative stability of a particle diffusing in a bistable potential is affected by an intervening hot layer. We derive this effect both from thermodynamics and from the diffusion equation. For this purpose the proper form of the diffusion equation in a nonuniform medium is established for the case of a Brownian particle. If the diffusion takes place in a ring, the hot layer creates a steady current.

Note: The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Incorporated is distributing this Article with permission of the International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) who is the exclusive owner. The recipient of this Article may not assign, sublicense, lease, rent or otherwise transfer, reproduce, prepare derivative works, publicly display or perform, or distribute the Article.  

Published in:

IBM Journal of Research and Development  (Volume:32 ,  Issue: 1 )