Lei Zhou / Physics

Graduate Student Researcher
1998 – 2001

Project: Traffic

Lei Zhou

I studied Electronics & Information System (Class 90) in NanKai University (China) from 1990-1994. I began to study Physics in the Graduate School, CUNY from the fall of 1996. I’m working on Traffic theory for Prof. Brian B. Schwartz.

My major is Physics and I am interested in how Physics underlines traffic. Traffic becomes a more serious problem in developed countries. Many Physicists are involved in this field as they try to use Physics to describe traffic. They try to find suitable models to study the traffic problem and find solutions to improve performance. The transition phase – between the moving phase and the jamming phase – is particularly interesting to me. Around this critical point the system is non-linear and unstable.

My project at the New Media Lab is to visualize and simulate traffic flow on the computer. I used Delphi4 to simulate a one-lane free way traffic flow. You can see the space distribution along the time and the behavior of the jam from the diagram. I implemented a two-lane free way traffic with the software Mathematica. The fundamental diagrams show the performance of the traffic. This result can be explained by the mean-field theory. My future work is to simulate a two-dimensional system that describes the traffic in cities.