Winding number correlation for a Brownian loop in a plane

J. H. Hannay*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
79 Downloads (Pure)


A Brownian loop is a random walk circuit of infinitely many, suitably infinitesimal, steps. In a plane such a loop may or may not enclose a marked point, the origin, say. If it does so it may wind arbitrarily many times, positive or negative, around that point. Indeed, from the (long known) probability distribution, the mean square winding number is infinite, so all statistical moments—averages of powers of the winding number—are infinity (even powers) or zero (odd powers, by symmetry). If an additional marked point is introduced at some distance from the origin, there are now two winding numbers, which are correlated. That correlation, the average of the product of the two winding numbers, is finite, and is calculated here. The result takes the form of a single well-convergent integral that depends on a single parameter—the suitably scaled separation of the marked points. The integrals of the correlation weighted by powers of the separation are simple factorial expressions. Explicit limits of the correlation for small and large separation of the marked points are found.

Original languageEnglish
Article number065001
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Physics A: Mathematical and Theoretical
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 18 Jan 2019


  • Brownian loop
  • Correlation
  • Winding number

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