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Brownian Motion, 2nd Edition by Björn Böttcher, Lothar Partzsch, René L. Schilling

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1 Robert Brown’s new thing

‘I have some sea-mice - five specimens - in spirits. And I will throw in Robert Brown’s new thing - “Microscopic Observations on the Pollen of Plants” - if you don’t happen to have it already.’

George Eliot: Middlemarch Book II, Chapter xvii

If you observe plant pollen in a drop of water through a microscope, you will see an incessant, irregular movement of the particles. The Scottish Botanist Robert Brown was not the first to describe this phenomenon - he refers to W. F. Gleichen-Rußwurm as the discoverer of the motions of the Particles of the Pollen [21, p. 164] - but his 1828 and 1829 papers [20; 21] are the first scientific publications investigating ‘Brownian motion’. Brown points out that

  • the motion is very ...

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