Distributions in Direction-Biased Random Walk

This Demonstration simulates a random walk that steps up with probability and down with probability (), but cannot step to negative values.


  • [Snapshot]
  • [Snapshot]
  • [Snapshot]


This simulation is a model for a particle undergoing Brownian motion subject to a constant force directed downward, but with an impenetrable barrier at zero. Force and probability are related via , where is the step size, is Boltzmann's constant, and is the absolute temperature.
The result might represent the height of a colloidal particle (i.e., a micron- or submicron-sized) in a beaker of water. It could also represent the height of a gas molecule in the Earth's atmosphere.
For a sufficiently long simulation, the distribution of particle positions (sufficiently far from zero) may be seen to be a negative exponential function of the height with a characteristic decay length of .
    • Share:

Embed Interactive Demonstration New!

Just copy and paste this snippet of JavaScript code into your website or blog to put the live Demonstration on your site. More details »

Files require Wolfram CDF Player or Mathematica.

Mathematica »
The #1 tool for creating Demonstrations
and anything technical.
Wolfram|Alpha »
Explore anything with the first
computational knowledge engine.
MathWorld »
The web's most extensive
mathematics resource.
Course Assistant Apps »
An app for every course—
right in the palm of your hand.
Wolfram Blog »
Read our views on math,
science, and technology.
Computable Document Format »
The format that makes Demonstrations
(and any information) easy to share and
interact with.
STEM Initiative »
Programs & resources for
educators, schools & students.
Computerbasedmath.org »
Join the initiative for modernizing
math education.
Step-by-Step Solutions »
Walk through homework problems one step at a time, with hints to help along the way.
Wolfram Problem Generator »
Unlimited random practice problems and answers with built-in step-by-step solutions. Practice online or make a printable study sheet.
Wolfram Language »
Knowledge-based programming for everyone.
Powered by Wolfram Mathematica © 2017 Wolfram Demonstrations Project & Contributors  |  Terms of Use  |  Privacy Policy  |  RSS Give us your feedback
Note: To run this Demonstration you need Mathematica 7+ or the free Mathematica Player 7EX
Download or upgrade to Mathematica Player 7EX
I already have Mathematica Player or Mathematica 7+