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Normal and Anomalous Diffusion in Soft Lorentz Gases

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Original languageEnglish
Article number064102
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 14 Feb 2019
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


Motivated by electronic transport in graphenelike structures, we study the diffusion of a classical point particle in Fermi potentials situated on a triangular lattice. We call this system a soft Lorentz gas, as the hard disks in the conventional periodic Lorentz gas are replaced by soft repulsive scatterers. A thorough computational analysis yields both normal and anomalous (super)diffusion with an extreme sensitivity on model parameters. This is due to an intricate interplay between trapped and ballistic periodic orbits, whose existence is characterized by tonguelike structures in parameter space. These results hold even for small softness, showing that diffusion in the paradigmatic hard Lorentz gas is not robust for realistic potentials, where we find an entirely different type of diffusion.

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Field of science, Statistics Finland