Maximum of N Independent Brownian Walkers till the First Exit From the Half Space

P. L. Krapivsky 1, Satya N. Majumdar 2, Alberto Rosso 2

Journal of Physics A Mathematical and Theoretical 43 (2010) 315001

We consider the one-dimensional target search process that involves an immobile target located at the origin and $N$ searchers performing independent Brownian motions starting at the initial positions $\vec x = (x_1,x_2,..., x_N)$ all on the positive half space. The process stops when the target is first found by one of the searchers. We compute the probability distribution of the maximum distance $m$ visited by the searchers till the stopping time and show that it has a power law tail: $P_N(m|\vec x)\sim B_N (x_1x_2... x_N)/m^{N+1}$ for large $m$. Thus all moments of $m$ up to the order $(N-1)$ are finite, while the higher moments diverge. The prefactor $B_N$ increases with $N$ faster than exponentially. Our solution gives the exit probability of a set of $N$ particles from a box $[0,L]$ through the left boundary. Incidentally, it also provides an exact solution of the Laplace's equation in an $N$-dimensional hypercube with some prescribed boundary conditions. The analytical results are in excellent agreement with Monte Carlo simulations.

  • 1. Center for Polymer Studies (CPS),
    Boston University
  • 2. Laboratoire de Physique Théorique et Modèles Statistiques (LPTMS),
    CNRS : UMR8626 – Université Paris XI - Paris Sud