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.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
- Statistics and Probability
- Condensed Matter Physics