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Brownian motion and gambling: from ratchets to paradoxical games

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Two losing gambling games, when alternated in a periodic or random fashion, can produce a winning game. This paradox has been inspired by certain physical systems capable of rectifying fluctuations: the so-called Brownian ratchets. In this paper we review this paradox, from Brownian ratchets to the most recent studies on collective games, providing some intuitive explanations of the unexpected phenomena that we will find along the way.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2004-03-01

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