The time that a diffusing particle spends in a certain region of space is known as the occupation time, or the residence time. Recently, the joint occupation-time statistics of an ensemble of noninteracting particles was addressed using the single-particle statistics. Here we employ the macroscopic fluctuation theory (MFT) to study the occupation-time statistics of many interacting particles. We find that interactions can significantly change the statistics and, in some models, even cause a singularity of the large-deviation function describing these statistics. This singularity can be interpreted as a dynamical phase transition. We also point out to a close relation between the MFT description of the occupation-time statistics of noninteracting particles and the level 2 large deviation formalism which describes the occupation-time statistics of a single particle.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2019 American Physical Society.