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Abstract:

Our interest goes to the behavior of a tracer particle, accelerated by a constant and uniform external field, when the energy injected by the field is redistributed through collision to a bath of unaccelerated particles. A non equilibrium steady state is thereby reached. Solutions of a generalized Boltzmann-Lorentz equation are analyzed analytically, in a versatile framework that embeds the majority of tracer-bath interactions discussed in the literature. These results—mostly derived for a one dimensional system—are successfully confronted to those of three independent numerical simulation methods: a direct iterative solution, Gillespie algorithm, and the Direct Simulation Monte Carlo technique. We work out the diffusion properties as well as the velocity tails: large v, and either large −v, or v in the vicinity of its lower cutoff whenever the velocity distribution is bounded from below. Particular emphasis is put on the cold bath limit, with scatterers at rest, which plays a special role in our model.

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