Nonequilibrium steady state of trapped active particles

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4 Scopus citations


We consider an overdamped particle with a general physical mechanism that creates noisy active movement (e.g., a run-and-tumble particle or active Brownian particle, etc.), that is confined by an external potential. Focusing on the limit in which the correlation time τ of the active noise is small, we find the nonequilibrium steady-state distribution Pst(X) of the particle's position X. While typical fluctuations of X follow a Boltzmann distribution with an effective temperature that is not difficult to find, the tails of Pst(X) deviate from a Boltzmann behavior: In the limit τ→0, they scale as Pst(X)∼e-s(X)/τ. We calculate the large-deviation function s(X) exactly for arbitrary trapping potential and active noise in dimension d=1, by relating it to the rate function that describes large deviations of the position of the same active particle in absence of an external potential at long times. We then extend our results to d>1 assuming rotational symmetry.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberL022602
JournalPhysical Review E
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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