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Stochastic postponement of critical onsets in a bistable system.

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsChapter


Publication date1986
Host publicationNoise in Physical Systems and 1/f Noise - 1985
EditorsA. D'Amico, P. Mazzetti
Place of publicationAmsterdam
Number of pages4
Original languageEnglish


We report the results of an experimental investigation of the effect of external, multiplicative, bandwidth-limited, white noise upon a cubic nonlinear electronic circuit modelling dx/dt = f(x,t) which exhibits bistability within a certain range of a control parameter A. Measurements of the statistical density of x are found to be in excellent agreement with theoretical predictions based on the use of the Stratonovic stochastic calculus for integration of the stochastic differential equation. In addition, we have observed pronounced stochastic shifts of the region of bistability towards larger values of A. These shifts are found to be in gratifyingly good agreement with the theoretical prediction. Thus, although an unambiguous demonstration of stochastic postponement in a natural system has yet to be achieved, the reality of this remarkable phenomenon in relation to physical systems is no longer open to doubt.

Bibliographic note

Proceedings of the International Conference on Noise in Physical Systems and 1/f Noise, Rome, 1985.