Gaussian white noise as a resource for work extraction

Andreas Dechant, Adrian Baule, Shin Ichi Sasa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


We show that uncorrelated Gaussian noise can drive a system out of equilibrium and can serve as a resource from which work can be extracted. We consider an overdamped particle in a periodic potential with an internal degree of freedom and a state-dependent friction, coupled to an equilibrium bath. Applying additional Gaussian white noise drives the system into a nonequilibrium steady state and causes a finite current if the potential is spatially asymmetric. The model thus operates as a Brownian ratchet, whose current we calculate explicitly in three complementary limits. Since the particle current is driven solely by additive Gaussian white noise, this shows that the latter can potentially perform work against an external load. By comparing the extracted power to the energy injection due to the noise, we discuss the efficiency of such a ratchet.

Original languageEnglish
Article number032132
JournalPhysical Review E
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Mar 20
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Statistics and Probability
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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