We show how a ratchet effect, generally used in systems with periodic potentials, can also be practiced on charged particles by an ac field alone, in a background magnetic field near the cyclotron resonance. The effect relies entirely on the spatial inhomogeneity of the high-frequency drive, which produces a deterministic asymmetric ponderomotive barrier for undamped particles. Such a barrier can reflect particles incident from one side while transmitting those incident from the opposite side, hence acting somewhat like a Maxwell demon. The necessary fields are perhaps most easily realized in a plasma, though the effect is more general.
|Physical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics
|Published - Oct 1 2005
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
- Statistics and Probability
- Condensed Matter Physics