J. Phys. I France
Volume 4, Numéro 11, November 1994
Page(s) 1577 - 1582
DOI: 10.1051/jp1:1994208
J. Phys. I France 4 (1994) 1577-1582

Short Communication

Force-free motion in an asymmetric environment: a simple model for structured objects

Armand Ajdari

Laboratoire de Physico-Chimie Théorique, ESPCI, 10 rue Vauquelin, F-75231 Paris Cedex 05, France

(Received 3 August 1994, accepted 12 September 1994)

Recent models have shown how dissipation of energy can set into directed motion a point-like particle in an environment of vectorial symmetry, even in the absence of macroscopic forces. This statement is extended to the case of an object with an internal structure, focusing on the simplest model: an elastic dumb-bell. We briefly show that specific mechanisms then come into play, able to set the object into directed motion even if thermal diffusion is negligible.

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