00-46 C. P. Dettmann, E. G. D. Cohen
Microscopic chaos and diffusion (411K, latex, uses revtex, epsfig) Jan 27, 00
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Abstract. We investigate the connections between microscopic chaos, defined on a dynamical level and arising from collisions between molecules, and diffusion, characterized by a mean square displacement proportional to the time. We use a number of models involving a single particle moving in two dimensions and colliding with fixed scatterers. We find that a number of microscopically nonchaotic models exhibit diffusion, and that the standard methods of chaotic time series analysis are ill suited to the problem of distinguishing between chaotic and nonchaotic microscopic dynamics. However, we show that periodic orbits play an important role in our models, in that their different properties in chaotic and nonchaotic systems can be used to distinguish such systems at the level of time series analysis, and in systems with absorbing boundaries. Our findings are relevant to experiments aimed at verifying the existence of chaotic microscopic dynamics in diffusive systems.

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