Noisy continuous time random walks

Jae Hyung Jeon, Eli Barkai, Ralf Metzler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

86 Scopus citations


Experimental studies of the diffusion of biomolecules within biological cells are routinely confronted with multiple sources of stochasticity, whose identification renders the detailed data analysis of single molecule trajectories quite intricate. Here, we consider subdiffusive continuous time random walks that represent a seminal model for the anomalous diffusion of tracer particles in complex environments. This motion is characterized by multiple trapping events with infinite mean sojourn time. In real physical situations, however, instead of the full immobilization predicted by the continuous time random walk model, the motion of the tracer particle shows additional jiggling, for instance, due to thermal agitation of the environment. We here present and analyze in detail an extension of the continuous time random walk model. Superimposing the multiple trapping behavior with additive Gaussian noise of variable strength, we demonstrate that the resulting process exhibits a rich variety of apparent dynamic regimes. In particular, such noisy continuous time random walks may appear ergodic, while the bare continuous time random walk exhibits weak ergodicity breaking. Detailed knowledge of this behavior will be useful for the truthful physical analysis of experimentally observed subdiffusion.

Original languageEnglish
Article number121916
JournalJournal of Chemical Physics
Issue number12
StatePublished - 28 Sep 2013


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