Oscillatory behavior of the rate of escape through an unstable limit cycle

Robert S. Maier, Daniel L. Stein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Scopus citations


Suppose a two-dimensional dynamical system has a stable attractor that is surrounded by an unstable limit cycle. If the system is additively perturbed by white noise, the rate of escape through the limit cycle will fall off exponentially as the noise strength tends to zero. By analysing the associated Fokker–Planck equation we show that in general, the weak-noise escape rate is non-Arrhenius: it includes a factor that is periodic in the logarithm of the noise strength. The presence of this slowly oscillating factor is due to the nonequilibrium potential of the system being nondifferentiable at the limit cycle. We point out the implications for the weak-noise limit of stochastic resonance models.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4860-4863
Number of pages4
JournalPhysical review letters
Issue number24
StatePublished - 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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