Physicists Paul Krapivsky (Boston University) and Sidney Redner (Santa Fe Institute) decided to use mathematics to answer an age-old question: where to park your car? The criterion? To find the parking lot that minimizes the time spent on the property.
LINK: THE RIEMANN HYPOTHESIS: A 160-YEAR-OLD MILLION DOLLAR MATHS PROBLEM
"Mathematics allows you to make smart decisions," said Speaker. "With her you can approach a complex world with some insights."
In their new study, physicists attribute three simple parking strategies to an idealized, single-tiered parking lot. They call their strategies; Meek, optimistic and thoughtful.
Gentle refers to drivers who use the first available space. Optimistic shows the drivers who play to find a place right next to the entrance. Be careful when the drivers hit the middle ground.
The authors used several techniques to calculate the relative merits of each strategy. For a start, the gentle strategy reflected a dynamic that can be seen in the microtubules that form the framework in living cells. They therefore used an equation describing the length of a microtubule to calculate the chain of "soft" cars at the other end of the lot. "In this case, the connection with the dynamics of the microtubules made the problem solvable."
The optimistic strategy was described by a differential equation, and the prudent strategy was represented by a simulation that allowed physicists to calculate the average density of spots and the amount of backtracking required.
It's an age-old question: where do you park your car?
Sidney Speaker & Paul Krapivsky of SFI under @BU_Tweets pitted & # 39; meek, & # 39; & # 39; prudent & # 39; && # 39; Optimistic & # 39; strategies against each other in their new article at @IOPPublishing .
Learn which strategy works best: https://t.co/xuhdJZGydh
̵1; Santa Fe Institute (@sfiscience) September 19, 2019
Prudent Strategy Wins
In the end, won the prudent strategy, closely followed by the optimistic strategy.
However, the speaker acknowledges that his approach limits practicality in exchange for mathematical insights. "If you really want to be an engineer, you have to consider how fast people drive, what the parking lot and the parking lot look like – all of this," he said.
"As soon as you start being completely realistic." , [every parking situation is different] and you lose the opportunity to explain anything.
Nevertheless, in this exercise speakers were concerned with the pleasure of thinking analytically about everyday situations.
"We live in a crowded society, and we encounter ever-pressing phenomena on parking lots plots, traffic patterns, As you call it, "he said," If you can look at it with your right eyes, you can explain something. "
The research will be published this week in the Journal of Statistical Mechanics .