Static electricity – we’re still (somewhat) in the dark

You might think that 2.6 millennia* of scientific study would be enough to form a thorough and complete understanding of a phenomenon as ubiquitous as ‘static electricity’. Not so, says a foremost authority on the subject, the Electrostatics Society of America. “Electrostatics is an exciting area of science, as its most basic scientific questions remain […]

The Dilemma-Zone Calculation

Yellow traffic lights posed and provided an opportunity for applied mathematicians. Witness this study, published more than a half century ago: “The Problem of the Amber Signal Light in Traffic Flow,” Denos Gazis [pictured here, reportedly thrilling an audience],  Robert Herman,  and Alexei Maradudint, Operations Research, vol. 8, no. 1, 1960, pp. 112-132. The authors, […]