Thursday, February 07, 2008

Optimal Boarding Method For Airline Passengers

Kids, there is an example on where, your training as a physicist or a scientist, can prepare you to tackle a problem analytically and systematically, even when it isn't about physics or science. Your physics education prepares you for a whole lot more than just doing physics.

I don't try to highlight something when it isn't even published yet, or when it isn't by a well-known figure, but this preprint is way too much fun to ignore. So I thought I'd bring it up. It is by Jason Steffen, a postdoc at Fermilab. I'm guessing from the comment he wrote that, while boarding a plane on his way to attend a conference, he somehow observed how the airline boarded the passengers and decided to study the most optimum way for this process to occur to minimize the boarding time. Thus, he came up with this study.

Like I said, it is a very entertaining reading. I hope someone can alert the airlines on this, but we should wait till it gets published in the submitted journal first.


Addendum: He has a newer version of this paper that can be found here.

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