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Directed-ratchet transport (DRT) in a one-dimensional lattice of spherical beads, which serves as a prototype for granular chains, is investigated. We consider a system where the trajectory of the central bead is prescribed by a biharmonic forcing function with broken time-reversal symmetry. By comparing the mean integrated force of beads equidistant from the forcing bead, two distinct types of directed transport can be observed—spatial and temporal DRT. Based on the value of the frequency of the forcing function relative to the cutoff frequency, the system can be categorized by the presence and magnitude of each type of DRT. Furthermore, we investigate and quantify how varying additional parameters such as the biharmonic weight affects DRT velocity and magnitude. Finally, friction is introduced into the system and is found to significantly inhibit spatial DRT. In fact, for sufficiently low forcing frequencies, the friction may even induce a switching of the DRT direction.


This article was originally published in Physical Review E, volume 88, issue 5, in 2013. DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevE.88.052202


American Physical Society

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