05 May

Agliari, Elena, et al. “Two-particle problem in comblike structures.” Physical Review E 93.5 (2016): 052111.

Encounters between walkers performing a random motion on an appropriate structure can describe a wide variety of natural phenomena ranging from pharmacokinetics to foraging. On homogeneous structures the asymptotic encounter probability between two walkers is (qualitatively) independent of whether both walkers are moving or one is kept fixed. On infinite comblike structures this is no longer the case and here we deepen the mechanisms underlying the emergence of a finite probability that two random walkers will never meet, while one single random walker is certain to visit any site. In particular, we introduce an analytical approach to address this problem and even more general problems such as the case of two walkers with different diffusivity, particles walking on a finite comb and on arbitrary bundled structures, possibly in the presence of loops. Our investigations are both analytical and numerical and highlight that, in general, the outcome of a reaction involving two reactants on a comblike architecture can strongly differ according to whether both reactants are moving (no matter their relative diffusivities) or only one is moving and according to the density of shortcuts among the branches.