Home

About

Advanced Search

Browse by Discipline

Scientific Societies

E-print Alerts

Add E-prints

E-print Network
FAQHELPSITE MAPCONTACT US


  Advanced Search  

 
In 1271 a 17-year-old boy called Marco Polo embarked on an adventure that took him from his hometown of
 

Summary: In 1271 a 17-year-old boy called Marco Polo embarked
on an adventure that took him from his hometown of
Venice, across Europe, the Middle East and Asia, all
the way to Beijing. He returned home 24 years later,
having travelled over 24 000 km. A trip of this mag-
nitude was unprecedented in Polo's time; almost
750 years later, he is rightly remembered for it. But
what was an exception in medieval Italy is today an
everyday occurrence: our 21st-century world is on the
move. Every year, more than three billion passengers
use the international air-transportation network, fly-
ingonacomplexwebofroutesthatconnectsmorethan
3000 airports worldwide. This global connectivity has
made it possible for people to go from virtually any
placeontheplanettoanyotherwithinamatterofdays.
However, long-distance air travel reflects only a tiny
percentage of human mobility. Our world is also cov-
ered by a dense network of roads and highways, fre-
quently operating at their maximum capacity. Given
the sheer complexity of human-mobility patterns and

  

Source: Amaral, Luis A.N. - Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Northwestern University
Ottino, Julio M. - Department of Mechanical Engineering, Northwestern University

 

Collections: Biology and Medicine; Engineering; Materials Science; Physics