Hitchhiker model for Laplace diffusion processes

M. Hidalgo-Soria, E. Barkai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Brownian motion is a Gaussian process describing normal diffusion with a variance increasing linearly with time. Recently, intracellular single-molecule tracking experiments have recorded exponentially decaying propagators, a phenomenon called Laplace diffusion. Inspired by these developments we study a many-body approach, called the Hitchhiker model, providing a microscopic description of the widely observed behavior. Our model explains how Laplace diffusion is controlled by size fluctuations of single molecules, independently of the diffusion law which they follow. By means of numerical simulations Laplace diffusion is recovered and we show how single-molecule tracking and data analysis, in a many-body system, is highly nontrivial as tracking of a single particle or many in parallel yields vastly different estimates for the diffusivity. We quantify the differences between these two commonly used approaches, showing how the single-molecule estimate of diffusivity is larger if compared to the full tagging method.

Original languageEnglish
Article number012109
JournalPhysical Review E
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 American Physical Society.


Dive into the research topics of 'Hitchhiker model for Laplace diffusion processes'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this