We study the diffusive motion of a small object placed on a solid support using an inertial tribometer. With an external bias and a Gaussian noise, the object slides accompanied with a fluctuation of displacement that exhibits unique characteristics at different powers of the noise. While it exhibits a fluidlike motion at high powers, a stick-slip motion occurs at a low power. Below a critical power, no motion is observed. The signature of a nonlinear friction is evident in this type of stochastic motion both in the reduced mobility in comparison to that governed by a linear kinematic (Stokes–Einstein-like) friction and in the non-Gaussian probability distribution of the displacement fluctuation. As the power of the noise increases, the effect of the nonlinearity appears to play a lesser role, so that the displacement fluctuation becomes more Gaussian. When the distribution is exponential, it also exhibits an asymmetry with its skewness increasing with the applied bias. A new finding of this study is that the stochastic velocities of the object are so poorly correlated that its diffusivity is much lower than either the linear or the nonlinear friction cases studied by de Gennes [J. Stat. Phys. 119, 953 (2005)]. The mobilities at different powers of the noise together with the estimated variances of velocity fluctuations follow an Einstein-like relation.
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Research Article| July 08 2010
Diffusive motion with nonlinear friction: apparently Brownian
Partho S. Goohpattader;
Partho S. Goohpattader, Manoj K. Chaudhury; Diffusive motion with nonlinear friction: apparently Brownian. J. Chem. Phys. 14 July 2010; 133 (2): 024702. https://doi.org/10.1063/1.3460530
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