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The Random Walker (TRW) demonstrates the similarities between the bell curve, cascading beads, and the stock market. It is a visualization of the order embedded in the chaos of randomly occurring events, such as beads bouncing through rows of pegs and the returns of the stock market being bounced around by randomly occurring news, otherwise known as the random walk of stock prices.
As you rotate TRW on its axis, you set into motion a flow of steel beads that bounce with equal probability to the left or right through several rows of pegs. As the beads accumulate in the bins, they approximate the bell curve, as shown by the yellow line on the front of TRW. A similar distribution is found in nearly 600 monthly returns of a global stock market index, as shown in the red bars on the back.
TRW also demonstrates the link between a social science and a physical science, where both processes result in approximately a bell-shaped curve. The study of stock markets, known as financial economics, is classified as a social science where human buyers and sellers seek a fair price from which the buyer expects a fair return, which is represented by the center of the resulting bell curve of monthly returns. From a fair price, there is an equal chance that the next price will result in a return higher or lower than the fair return.
The Random Walker represents a display of physical science, where gravity propels steel beads through an interleaved pattern of pegs in a way that there is an equal probability to bounce left or right at every peg. The Central Limit Theorem tells us that as the number of beads approaches infinity, the distribution approaches the bell-shaped curve.