The transport of an underdamped Brownian particle moving in a one-dimensional ratchet driven by a modulated Gaussian white noise is considered. The system experiences periodically higher temperature T1during a time τ1and lower temperature T2during a time τ2. Both the average current and the thermal efficiency are calculated numerically. The results show that the efficiency of energy transformation can be optimized for a ratio of τ1/τ2less than 1 at a critical damping. (C) 2000 Published by Elsevier Science B.V.
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