Instabilities of the harmonic oscillator with fluctuating damping

Vicenç Méndez, Werner Horsthemke, Pau Mestres, Daniel Campos

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24 Citations (Scopus)


We investigate the instabilities of a linear damped oscillator due to fluctuations of the damping parameter. The fluctuations are driven either by Gaussian white noise or Poisson white noise (white shot noise). We consider three notions of stability. The first two are the well-known notions of stability in the mean and stability in the mean square. We introduce the concept of thermodynamic stability, corresponding to a nonpositive rate of energy dissipation at all times. We derive analytical results for the various instability thresholds, confirm the validity of our approach for white shot noise by numerical simulations, and obtain the unexpected result that mean-square and thermodynamic stability coincide for the two types of white noise. © 2011 American Physical Society.
Original languageEnglish
Article number041137
JournalPhysical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics
Publication statusPublished - 25 Oct 2011


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