Posts 21–25 of 42

  • Researchers Identify the Cause of Stop-and-Go Traffic


    When I commuted to Tysons from DC, I would have lots of time stuck in stop-and-go traffic to consider the reasons and causes for traffic slowdowns. It seemed that often, we’d all be slowing down and then speeding up again for no reason. I always speculated that sudden braking could cause a wave of slowdowns that would propagate backwards for hours/miles, leading to the annoying slow-down-speed-up cycle.

    A team of Japanese researchers recently created an experiment to show that the effect of breaking can easily create traffic jams. It’s all just physics. Their experiment shows that when the density of cars on the road passes a certain threshold, traffic jams will be caused simply by the multi-particle interactions of the system. In layman’s terms, drivers inconsistently hitting their breaks will cause a wave of stop-and-go backups behind them.

  • Snow!


    We finally got some frozen precipitation. It was only an inch of snow, but given where we live, it was enough to delay school for two hours. So the boys got to enjoy playing in the snow, albeit only briefly.

  • Eli and Isaac Turn My Kneeling Chair Into a Fun Scooter for Two


    I got a kneeling chair as a Christmas gift from my mother-in-law. It’s something I’ve wanted for a while for work since normal office chairs hurt my back after a while.

    I didn’t expect, however, for the kids to love it so much. After much fighting over the chair, the kids finally found a way they could both enjoy it.

  • Common Physics Misconceptions Explained in 2 Minutes


    I went to a pretty good high school (cough, IB, cough) and I had a pretty great physics teacher. Yet we never went over anything like this video in our physics class. And it’s too bad because I think it would have really made physics that much more interesting.