Jams, Waves, and Clusters

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Science  11 Dec 1998:
Vol. 282, Issue 5396, pp. 2001-2003
DOI: 10.1126/science.282.5396.2001

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One thing is certain--the world's roadways are not getting less congested. Physicists have been taking a glance at traffic jams recently, in an effort to learn something about the underlying behavior of a particularly familiar many-body system: the modern multilane superhighway. In their Perspective, Helbing and Treiber describe current work in modeling traffic flow as a fluid. The insights gained may one day aid in traffic management.