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Enhancement of stability in systems with metastable states


The investigation of noise-induced phenomena in far from equilibrium systems is one of the approach used to understand the behaviour of physical and biological complex systems. Metastability is a generic feature of many nonlinear systems, and the problem of the lifetime of metastable states involves fundamental aspects of nonequilibrium statistical mechanics. The enhancement of the lifetime of metastable states through the noise enhanced stability effect and the role played by the resonant activation phenomenon will be discussed in models of interdisciplinary physics: (i) Ising model (ii) Josephson junction; (iii) stochastic FitzHugh-Nagumo model; (iv) a population dynamics model, and (v) a market model with stochastic volatility.