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Science
THE MATERIAL WORLD
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Thursday 16:30-17:00
Quentin Cooper reports on developments across the sciences. Each week scientists describe their work, conveying the excitement they feel for their research projects.
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LISTEN AGAINListen 30 min
Listen to 28 August 2008
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QUENTIN COOPER
Quentin Cooper
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Thursday 28 August 2008
Traffic Jam on a motorway
What causes traffic jams and how can we prevent them?

Tracking Traffic

In a bank holiday week, traffic can be the main topic of conversation. This week Quentin Cooper investigates how artificial intelligence is being applied to traffic navigation systems for the first time.

The Institute of Industrial Research at Portsmouth University has teamed up with the Traffic Research Laboratory to develop the ‘Congestion Avoidance Dynamic Routing Engine’ (CADRE).

Instead of a regular sat nav system that gets information about the car’s location from a satellite and tells you where you are on a map, the CADRE uses ‘fuzzy logic’ to imitate how humans think and make decisions, and constantly takes on new information from fellow users to keep up to date with how traffic is moving.

He’s joined by Dr Alan Stevens, Chief Research Scientist at the Transport Research Laboratory in Berkshire and Dr David Brown, Head of the Institute of Industrial Research at Portsmouth University who has come up with this new system known as CADRE.

Periodic Table of Videos

There are 118 new videos available on the internet. That number (among many other videos) is significant because it’s the number of elements in the periodic table – 16 more than when Tom Lehrer sang his famous song listing the elements.

The new video collection comes from Professor Martyn Poliakoff who, along with colleagues in the chemistry department at the University of Nottingham have created the latest internet video hit by making short films about each element in the periodic table.

Quentin is joined by Professor Poliakoff and his fellow periodic table video star, Dr Debbie Kays.

Next week:  the very thin and flexible world of polymer electronics.
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