Statistics of long-range force fields in random environments: Beyond Holtsmark

Avraham Samama, Eli Barkai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Since the times of Holtsmark (1911), statistics of fields in random environments have been widely studied, for example in astrophysics, active matter, and line-shape broadening. The power-law decay of the two-body interaction of the form 1/|r|δ, and assuming spatial uniformity of the medium particles exerting the forces, imply that the fields are fat-tailed distributed, and in general are described by stable Lévy distributions. With this widely used framework, the variance of the field diverges, which is nonphysical, due to finite size cutoffs. We find a complementary statistical law to the Lévy-Holtsmark distribution describing the large fields in the problem, which is related to the finite size of the tracer particle. We discover biscaling with a sharp statistical transition of the force moments taking place when the order of the moment is d/δ, where d is the dimension. The high-order moments, including the variance, are described by the framework presented in this paper, which is expected to hold for many systems. The new scaling solution found here is nonnormalized similar to infinite invariant densities found in dynamical systems.

Original languageEnglish
Article number044116
JournalPhysical Review E
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 American Physical Society.


This work was supported by the Israel Science Foundation Grant No. 1614/21.

FundersFunder number
Israel Science Foundation1614/21


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