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We study the ratchet effect of a damped relativistic particle driven by both asymmetric temporal bi-harmonic and time-periodic piecewise constant forces. This system can be formally solved for any external force, providing the ratchet velocity as a nonlinear functional of the driving force. This allows us to explicitly illustrate the functional Taylor expansion formalism recently proposed for this kind of systems. The Taylor expansion reveals particularly useful to obtain the shape of the current when the force is periodic, piecewise constant.We also illustrate the somewhat counterintuitive effect that introducing damping may induce a ratchet effect.When the force is symmetric under time-reversal and the system is undamped, under symmetry principles no ratchet effect is possible. In this situation increasing damping generates a ratchet current which, upon increasing the damping coefficient eventually reaches a maximum and decreases toward zero. We argue that this effect is not specific of this example and should appear in any ratchet system with tunable damping driven by a time-reversible external force.
mathematical physics; condensed matter: structural; mechanical & thermal; statistical physics and nonlinear systems