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We describe a simple simulation, suitable for an undergraduate project or graduate problem set, of the Brownian motion of a particle in a Hooke’s law potential well. Understanding this physical situation is necessary in many experimental contexts, for instance in single molecule biophysics, and its simulation helps students appreciate the dynamical character of thermal equilibrium. The simulation captures behavior seen in experimental data on tethered particle motion.
Date Posted: 12 May 2011
This document has been peer reviewed.