Drunken MATLAB Journey

Dillon Guynup

Computational Physics

I would like to explore a very important question at our college: will I make it back to campus if I am taking steps in random directions this weekend? Starting from the Town Houses, what is the probability of making it back to my room while quite inebriated? In 2 dimensions, this is nigh guaranteed but how many steps will it take? By manipulating the distance traveled, I can find a trend in the average number of steps the student takes and fit a trend line to it.

Not only can this be mapped in MATLAB, I can also insert extra variables into the program. For example, I can introduce non-random movement at random times. In the real world, this could be seen either as a moment of clarity in a drunken mind or a helpful friend pushing you in the right direction. I would like to derive the expression to calculate the number of steps to go back to campus computationally. This could be an example of random drift and could be used to see how drift affects the time it takes to go home. I can add a lot more to this project by utilizing even more variables. For example, what if the student slips? I could add another random chance of a non-random movement this way.

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One thought on “Drunken MATLAB Journey

  1. Jenny MagnesJenny Magnes

    The setting of your system makes it tangible to a large audience. What kind of physical system is your system analogous to? Put the physics in the forefront of your project and use your tangible example to make the physics accessible to larger audiences.

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