Model-dependent nature of blowtorch effect on the escape and equilibration rates
We analyze the relaxation behavior of a bistable system when the background temperature profile is inhomogeneous due to the presence of a localized hot region (blowtorch) on one side of the potential barrier. Since the diffusion equation for inhomogeneous medium is model-dependent, we consider two physical models to study the kinetics of such system. Using a conventional stochastic method, we obtain the escape and equilibration rates of the system for the two physical models. For both models, we find that the hot region enhances the escape rate from the well where it is placed while it retards the escape rate from the other well. However, the value of the escape rate from the well where the hot region is placed differs for the two models while that of the escape rate from the other well is identical for both. This work, for the first time, gives a detailed report of the similarities and differences of the escape rates and, hence, exposes the common and distinct features of the two known physical models in determining the way the bistable system relaxes.
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