Ralf Metzler

University of Potsdam
In 1905 Einstein formulated the laws of diffusion, and in 1908 Perrin published his Nobel-prize winning studies determining Avogadro's number from diffusion measurements. With similar, more refined techniques the diffusion behaviour in complex systems such as the motion of tracer particles in living biological cells or the tracking of animals and humans is nowadays measured with high precision. Often the diffusion turns out to deviate from Einstein's laws. This talk will discuss the basic mechanisms leading to such anomalous diffusion as well as point out its consequences. In particular the unconventional behaviour of non-ergodic, ageing systems will be discussed within the framework of continuous time random walks. Indeed, non-ergodic diffusion in the cytoplasm of living cells as well as in membranes has recently been demonstrated experimentally.
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