Some randomness is present in most phenomena, ranging from biomolecules and nanodevices to financial markets and human organizations. However, it is not easy to gain an intuitive understanding of such stochastic phenomena, because their modeling requires advanced mathematical tools, such as sigma algebras, the Itô formula and martingales. Here, we discuss a simple finite difference algorithm that can be used to gain understanding of such complex physical phenomena. In particular, we simulate the motion of an optically trapped particle that is typically used as a model system in statistical physics and has a wide range of applications in physics and biophysics, for example, to measure nanoscopic forces and torques.


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