Laplace’s first law of errors applied to diffusive motion

Omer Hamdi, Stanislav Burov, Eli Barkai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Abstract: In biological, glassy, and active systems, various tracers exhibit Laplace-like, i.e., exponential, spreading of the diffusing packet of particles. The limitations of the central limit theorem in fully capturing the behaviors of such diffusive processes, especially in the tails, have been studied using the continuous time random walk model. For cases when the jump length distribution is super-exponential, e.g., a Gaussian, we use large deviations theory and relate it to the appearance of exponential tails. When the jump length distribution is sub-exponential, the packet of spreading particles is described by the big jump principle. We demonstrate the applicability of our approach for finite time, indicating that rare events and the asymptotics of the large deviations rate function can be sampled for large length scales within a reasonably short measurement time. Graphical abstract: The universality of Laplace tails appears everywhere (Figure presented.)

Original languageEnglish
Article number67
JournalEuropean Physical Journal B
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2024.


Dive into the research topics of 'Laplace’s first law of errors applied to diffusive motion'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this