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Thermally activated switching in the presence of non-Gaussian noise

Ira B. Schwartz, lora billings
We study the effect of a non-Gaussian noise on interstate switching activated primarily by Gaussian
noise. Even weak non-Gaussian noise can strongly change the switching rate. The effect is
determined by all moments of the noise distribution. It is expressed in a closed form in terms of the
noise characteristic functional. The analytical results are compared with the results of simulations
for an overdamped system driven by white Gaussian noise and a Poisson noise. Switching induced
by a purely Poisson noise is also discussed.
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