Physicists riff on an REM classic, new strategy for finding a parking spot – Physics World


Physicist and author Sabine Hossenfelder is probably most famous for being the bane of those who believe that physics should have an underlying mathematical beauty. But she is also a talented musician and video producer, as you can see in the above video.

It’s a riff on REM’s “It’s the end of the world as we know it” and there is a guest appearance by guitarist (and climate physicist) Tim Palmer. By the magic of green screen, he joins in from London and plays a nice guitar solo to boot.

And don’t worry, they both feel fine.

This might be the worst possible time to get people interested in research about strategies for finding a parking place. I had a dentist appointment (essential, of course) on Tuesday in the centre of Bristol and there were parking spots galore because of the COVID-19 lock down. But when things finally get back to normal and your find yourself circling your destination looking for a spot, Paul Krapivsky and Sidney Redner have some advice.

“The dilemma is whether to park far away, which should be easy, and then have a long walk to the destination, or drive close to the venue and then look for a good parking spot, which is likely to be hard”, they explain in the preprint, “Where should you park your car? The 1/2 rule”.

The preprint describes a strategy for finding a spot in a 1D carpark, which I suppose could be applied to parallel parking on a road.

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