We report on the residence times of capillary waves above a given height h and on the typical waiting time in between such fluctuations. The measurements were made on phase-separated colloid-polymer systems by laser scanning confocal microscopy. Due to the Brownian character of the process, the stochastics vary with the chosen measurement interval Δt. In experiments, the discrete scanning times are a practical cutoff and we are able to measure the waiting time as a function of this cutoff. The measurement interval dependence of the observed waiting and residence times turns out to be solely determined by the time-dependent height-height correlation function g(t). We find excellent agreement with the theory presented here along with the experiments
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