Progressive Wave
Light Sound and Waves

Traffic waves

Stories from Physics for 11-14 14-16 IOP RESOURCES

Researchers have modelled flowing traffic as analogous to a fluid and have applied wave equations to predict the behaviour of cars in heavy traffic. The wave-equation models suggest that jams can occur spontaneously in homogeneous traffic flow, if the density of vehicles exceeds a particular value. Traffic can be modelled as existing in a number of states, for example free flowing and traffic jams, with phase transitions occurring between the states.

References

ONLINE COMMUNITY FORUM

Have a Physics Teaching Question?

Want to ask it in a safe, friendly, knowledgeable environment? TalkPhysics is an online community for anyone involved in the teaching of pre-19 physics.

Visit TalkPhysics