Heterogeneity-induced large deviations in activity and (in some cases) entropy production

Todd Gingrich*, Suriyanarayanan Vaikuntanathan, Phillip L. Geissler

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


We solve a simple model that supports a dynamic phase transition and show conditions for the existence of the transition. Using methods of large deviation theory we analytically compute the probability distribution for activity and entropy production rates of the trajectories on a large ring with a single heterogeneous link. The corresponding joint rate function demonstrates two dynamical phases - one localized and the other delocalized, but the marginal rate functions do not always exhibit the underlying transition. Symmetries in dynamic order parameters influence the observation of a transition, such that distributions for certain dynamic order parameters need not reveal an underlying dynamical bistability. Solution of our model system furthermore yields the form of the effective Markov transition matrices that generate dynamics in which the two dynamical phases are at coexistence. We discuss the implications of the transition for the response of bacterial cells to antibiotic treatment, arguing that even simple models of a cell cycle lacking an explicit bistability in configuration space will exhibit a bistability of dynamical phases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number042123
JournalPhysical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 15 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Statistics and Probability
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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