Donado, F., Moctezuma, R. E., López-Flores, L., Medina-Noyola, M., & Arauz-Lara, J. L. (2017). Brownian motion in non-equilibrium systems and the Ornstein-Uhlenbeck stochastic process. Scientific reports, 7, 12614.
The Ornstein-Uhlenbeck stochastic process is an exact mathematical model providing accurate representations of many real dynamic processes in systems in a stationary state. When applied to the description of random motion of particles such as that of Brownian particles, it provides exact predictions coinciding with those of the Langevin equation but not restricted to systems in thermal equilibrium but only conditioned to be stationary. Here, we investigate experimentally single particle motion in a two-dimensional granular system in a stationary state, consisting of 1 mm stainless balls on a plane circular surface. The motion of the particles is produced by an alternating magnetic field applied perpendicular to the surface of the container. The mean square displacement of the particles is measured for a range of low concentrations and it is found that following an appropriate scaling of length and time, the short-time experimental curves conform a master curve covering the range of particle motion from ballistic to diffusive in accordance with the description of the Ornstein-Uhlenbeck model.