Physics and Astronomy



Thursday 13 August 19:00 until 20:00
On our 'YouTube' channel - search 'Sussex Universe'
Speaker: Dr Nicos Georgiou
Part of the series: Sussex Universe Online: Lecture 14

Any driver has found themselves stuck in traffic for an extended period of time. Reasons for this may vary from accidents to good weather to road work. Similar to traffic, all of us have found ourselves waiting in queues, experiencing other queues moving faster than ours. Luckily, none of us experienced a zombie invasion. However, under a certain light, all of these three things are the same from a mathematical perspective. So what can probability theory say about traffic, queues and zombies? The talk will begin by briefly and simply explaining the three main types of questions in modern probability, namely laws of large numbers, fluctuations and large deviations. Then we will try to give answers for some of these questions: How does traffic evolve? How long will it take me to reach my destination when the traffic has a given density? How many highway exits do I need to pass in order to get out of highway traffic? How long will I wait in a queue and with what probability? Where are the zombies?

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By: Sarah Pelling
Last updated: Thursday, 16 July 2020