American Chemical Society
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Experimental Realization of Diffusion with Stochastic Resetting

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posted on 2020-08-24, 18:08 authored by Ofir Tal-Friedman, Arnab Pal, Amandeep Sekhon, Shlomi Reuveni, Yael Roichman
Stochastic resetting is prevalent in natural and man-made systems, giving rise to a long series of nonequilibrium phenomena. Diffusion with stochastic resetting serves as a paradigmatic model to study these phenomena, but the lack of a well-controlled platform by which this process can be studied experimentally has been a major impediment to research in the field. Here, we report the experimental realization of colloidal particle diffusion and resetting via holographic optical tweezers. We provide the first experimental corroboration of central theoretical results and go on to measure the energetic cost of resetting in steady-state and first-passage scenarios. In both cases, we show that this cost cannot be made arbitrarily small because of fundamental constraints on realistic resetting protocols. The methods developed herein open the door to future experimental study of resetting phenomena beyond diffusion.