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Thermal noise suppression: How much does it cost?

Journal article
Authors Giovanni Volpe
Jan Wehr
Dmitri Petrov
J. Miguel Rubi
Published in Journal of Physics A: Mathematical and Theoretical
Volume 42
ISSN 17518113
Publication year 2009
Published at
Language en
Subject categories Physical Sciences


In order to stabilize the behavior of noisy systems, confining it around a desirable state, an effort is required to suppress the intrinsic noise. This noise suppression task entails a cost. For the important case of thermal noise in an overdamped system, we show that the minimum cost is achieved when the system control parameters are held constant: any additional deterministic or random modulation produces an increase of the cost. We discuss the implications of this phenomenon for those overdamped systems whose control parameters are intrinsically noisy, presenting a case study based on the example of a Brownian particle optically trapped in an oscillating potential. © 2009 IOP Publishing Ltd.

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