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Colloquium: March 12, 2014

Jan Wehr*
What is the Equation of Motion of a Brownian Particle?
Day Time Place
March 12, 2014 Wednesday 15:40 EE01

Host: Giovanni Volpe

ABSTRACT —  I will outline an experiment, studying movement of colloidal particles in water. Starting from the Newton’s law, I will build a differential equation describing the Brownian motion of such a particle. This equation contains a noise term, accounting for the collisions of the particle with the water molecules. Its careful analysis when the particle’s mass is small, reveals a presence of an unexpected noise-induced drift, in an excellent agreement with the experiment. I will comment on related effects, occuring in a wide class of systems, including equations describing a recent noisy electrical circuit experiment. The talk will assume only familiarity with elementary physics and calculus.

*Arizona University, Arizona, USA

The Physics Colloquia are designed to address a non-specialist, broad audience and introduce topics of contemporary research through lectures by leading experts. We warmly invite all members of the student body, including undergraduates enrolled in any programme.

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