Even in nonequilibrium systems, the mechanism of rare reactive events caused by small random noise is predictable because they occur with high probability via their maximum likelihood path (MLP). Here a geometric characterization of the MLP is given as the curve minimizing a certain functional under suitable constraints. A general purpose algorithm is also proposed to compute the MLP. This algorithm is applied to predict the pathway of transition in a bistable stochastic reaction-diffusion equation in the presence of a shear flow, and to analyze how the shear intensity influences the mechanism and rate of the transition.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)