Run-and-Tumble Motion: The Role of Reversibility

Bart van Ginkel, Bart van Gisbergen, Frank Redig

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We study a model of active particles that perform a simple random walk and on top of that have a preferred direction determined by an internal state which is modelled by a stationary Markov process. First we calculate the limiting diffusion coefficient. Then we show that the ‘active part’ of the diffusion coefficient is in some sense maximal for reversible state processes. Further, we obtain a large deviations principle for the active particle in terms of the large deviations rate function of the empirical process corresponding to the state process. Again we show that the rate function and free energy function are (pointwise) optimal for reversible state processes. Finally, we show that in the case with two states, the Fourier–Laplace transform of the distribution, the moment generating function and the free energy function can be computed explicitly. Along the way we provide several examples.

Original languageEnglish
Article number44
Pages (from-to)1-31
Number of pages31
JournalJournal of Statistical Physics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Active particle
  • Diffusion coefficient
  • Large deviations
  • Random walk
  • Reversibility
  • Run-and-tumble motion
  • Stochastic processes


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