Measurement of Anomalous Diffusion Using Recurrent Neural Networks
Stefano Bo, Falko Schmidt, Ralf Eichborn & Giovanni Volpe
Anomalous diffusion occurs in many physical and biological phenomena, when the growth of the mean squared displacement (MSD) with time has an exponent different from one. We show that recurrent neural networks (RNN) can efficiently characterize anomalous diffusion by determining the exponent from a single short trajectory, outperforming the standard estimation based on the MSD when the available data points are limited, as is often the case in experiments. Furthermore, the RNN can handle more complex tasks where there are no standard approaches, such as determining the anomalous diffusion exponent from a trajectory sampled at irregular times, and estimating the switching time and anomalous diffusion exponents of an intermittent system that switches between different kinds of anomalous diffusion. We validate our method on experimental data obtained from sub-diffusive colloids trapped in speckle light fields and super-diffusive microswimmers.
Experimental realization of a minimal microscopic heat engine
Aykut Argun, Jalpa Soni, Lennart Dabelow, Stefano Bo, Giuseppe Pesce, Ralf Eichhorn & Giovanni Volpe
Physical Review E 96(5), 052106 (2017)
Microscopic heat engines are microscale systems that convert energy flows between heat reservoirs into work or systematic motion. We have experimentally realized a minimal microscopic heat engine. It consists of a colloidal Brownian particle optically trapped in an elliptical potential well and simultaneously coupled to two heat baths at different temperatures acting along perpendicular directions. For a generic arrangement of the principal directions of the baths and the potential, the symmetry of the system is broken, such that the heat flow drives a systematic gyrating motion of the particle around the potential minimum. Using the experimentally measured trajectories, we quantify the gyrating motion of the particle, the resulting torque that it exerts on the potential, and the associated heat flow between the heat baths. We find excellent agreement between the experimental results and the theoretical predictions.