Fluctuations of a swarm of Brownian bees

Maor Siboni, Pavel Sasorov, Baruch Meerson

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The "Brownian bees"model describes an ensemble of N independent branching Brownian particles. When a particle branches into two particles, the particle farthest from the origin is eliminated so as to keep the number of particles constant. In the limit of N→∞, the spatial density of the particles is governed by the solution of a free boundary problem for a reaction-diffusion equation. At long times the particle density approaches a spherically symmetric steady-state solution with a compact support. Here, we study fluctuations of the "swarm of bees"due to the random character of the branching Brownian motion in the limit of large but finite N. We consider a one-dimensional setting and focus on two fluctuating quantities: the swarm center of mass X(t) and the swarm radius ℓ(t). Linearizing a pertinent Langevin equation around the deterministic steady-state solution, we calculate the two-time covariances of X(t) and ℓ(t). The variance of X(t) directly follows from the covariance of X(t), and it scales as 1/N as to be expected from the law of large numbers. The variance of ℓ(t) behaves differently: It exhibits an anomalous scaling (1/N)lnN. This anomaly appears because all spatial scales, including a narrow region near the edges of the swarm where only a few particles are present, give a significant contribution to the variance. We argue that the variance of ℓ(t) can be obtained from the covariance of ℓ(t) by introducing a cutoff at the microscopic time 1/N where the continuum Langevin description breaks down. Our theoretical predictions are in good agreement with Monte Carlo simulations of the microscopic model. Generalizations to higher dimensions are briefly discussed.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number054131
JournalPhysical Review E
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 2021

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