Universal Order and Gap Statistics of Critical Branching Brownian Motion

Kabir Ramola 1 Satya N. Majumdar 1 Gregory Schehr 1

Physical Review Letters, American Physical Society, 2014, 112, pp.210602

We study the order statistics of one dimensional branching Brownian motion in which particles either diffuse (with diffusion constant $D$), die (with rate $d$) or split into two particles (with rate $b$). At the critical point $b=d$ which we focus on, we show that, at large time $t$, the particles are collectively bunched together. We find indeed that there are two length scales in the system: (i) the diffusive length scale $\sim \sqrt{Dt}$ which controls the collective fluctuations of the whole bunch and (ii) the length scale of the gap between the bunched particles $\sim \sqrt{D/b}$. We compute the probability distribution function $P(g_k,t|n)$ of the $k$th gap $g_k = x_k - x_{k+1}$ between the $k$th and $(k+1)$th particles given that the system contains exactly $n>k$ particles at time $t$. We show that at large $t$, it converges to a stationary distribution $P(g_k,t\to \infty|n) = p(g_k|n)$ with an algebraic tail $p(g_k|n) \sim 8(D/b) g_k^{-3}$, for $g_k \gg 1$, independent of $k$ and $n$. We verify our predictions with Monte Carlo simulations.

  • 1. LPTMS - Laboratoire de Physique Théorique et Modèles Statistiques