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written by Richard McCray and Andrew Koelemay
This applet demonstrates random walk in two dimensions. The user can specify how many particles appear at the center of the circle and the mean free path as a fraction of the radius of the circle. The path lengths are randomized with an exponential distribution. A histogram shows the number of times each particle has been deflected before it escapes the circle. It also shows the mean number of scatterings and the standard deviation.

This is part of a larger collection of applets by STEM Colorado focused mostly on topics in astronomy.

Please note that this resource requires at least version 1.4.2_06 of Java.
Subjects Levels Resource Types
- Fundamentals
= Celestial Mechanics
Thermo & Stat Mech
- Probability
= Random Walks
- Lower Undergraduate
- High School
- Upper Undergraduate
- Instructional Material
= Activity
= Interactive Simulation
Intended Users Formats Ratings
- Learners
- application/java
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Access Rights:
Free access
© 2004 Richard McCray
mean free path, path length, random walk
Record Cloner:
Metadata instance created August 29, 2008 by Alea Smith
Record Updated:
November 4, 2008 by Chris Irwin
Last Update
when Cataloged:
August 29, 2008
Other Collections:

ComPADRE is beta testing Citation Styles!

Record Link
AIP Format
R. McCray and A. Koelemay, (2004), WWW Document, (
R. McCray and A. Koelemay, STEM Colorado: Random Walk, (2004), <>.
APA Format
McCray, R., & Koelemay, A. (2008, August 29). STEM Colorado: Random Walk. Retrieved October 18, 2018, from
Chicago Format
McCray, Richard, and Andrew Koelemay. STEM Colorado: Random Walk. August 29, 2008. (accessed 18 October 2018).
MLA Format
McCray, Richard, and Andrew Koelemay. STEM Colorado: Random Walk. 2004. 29 Aug. 2008. 18 Oct. 2018 <>.
BibTeX Export Format
@misc{ Author = "Richard McCray and Andrew Koelemay", Title = {STEM Colorado: Random Walk}, Volume = {2018}, Number = {18 October 2018}, Month = {August 29, 2008}, Year = {2004} }
Refer Export Format

%A Richard McCray
%A Andrew Koelemay
%T STEM Colorado: Random Walk
%D August 29, 2008
%O application/java

EndNote Export Format

%0 Electronic Source
%A McCray, Richard
%A Koelemay, Andrew
%D August 29, 2008
%T STEM Colorado: Random Walk
%V 2018
%N 18 October 2018
%8 August 29, 2008
%9 application/java

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Citation Source Information

The AIP Style presented is based on information from the AIP Style Manual.

The APA Style presented is based on information from APA Electronic References.

The Chicago Style presented is based on information from Examples of Chicago-Style Documentation.

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