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Mathematicians Solve the Mystery of Traffic Jams 629

mlimber writes "Do you ever find yourself in a traffic jam, thinking, 'Man, there must be a bad accident up ahead,' but as you plod along you see no evidence of any crash? Some mathematicians have solved the mystery by developing a mathematical model that shows how one driver hitting the brakes a little too hard can cascade into a backup miles behind. The mathematicians' future research will investigate how automatic braking systems may alleviate the problem."

"No, no, I don't mind being called the smartest man in the world. I just wish it wasn't this one." -- Adrian Veidt/Ozymandias, WATCHMEN