Accelerating search kinetics by following boundaries

T. Calandre , O. Benichou , R. Voituriez

Bibtex , URL
Published 09 Jun. 2014
DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.112.230601
ISSN: 0031-9007


We derive exact expressions of the mean first-passage time to a bulk target for a random searcher that performs boundary-mediated diffusion in a circular domain. Although nonintuitive for bulk targets, it is found that boundary excursions, if fast enough, can minimize the search time. A scaling analysis generalizes these findings to domains of arbitrary shapes and underlines their robustness. Overall, these results provide a generic mechanism of optimization of search kinetics in interfacial systems, which could have important implications in chemical physics. In the context of animal behavior sciences, it shows that following the boundaries of a domain can accelerate a search process, and therefore suggests that thigmotactism could be a kinetically efficient behavior.

Cette publication est associée à :

Dynamique stochastique des systèmes réactifs et vivants