Physics of molecular machines operated by a particle flux
Departament d'Estructura i Constituents de la Matèria, Facultat de Física, Universitat de Barcelona c. Martí i Franqués, 1, E-08028 Barcelona, Spain, EU
Received: 27 September 2012
Accepted: 29 October 2012
Here we present a basic theoretical analysis of molecular machines (turbines) operating with particle fluxes either such as motor or pump regimes. Our focus is on the physical observables: velocity, flux, power and efficiency. We will show that thermal fluctuations are essential to understand its behaviour changing completely the deterministic predictions. Thermal fluctuations introduce a finite domain where no useful output can be extracted from this device due to particle leakage. Furthermore, the maximum of efficiency does not follow the deterministic analysis. Our results also present a bottom line to address the study of these devices in more complex models and to inspire new experiments in this type of machines.
PACS: 05.40.-a – Fluctuation phenomena, random processes, noise, and Brownian motion / 87.16.dj – Dynamics and fluctuations / 87.16.Nn – Motor proteins (myosin, kinesin dynein)
© EPLA, 2012