Social physics

Jim has also worked on models of social systems. This has included using extensions to pedestrian models (specifically the active walker model) to investigate the spontaneous formation of switchbacks patterns in mountain trails. Results from our model of mountain trail formation can be seen below. In the active walker model, walkers are attracted to existing paths, reinforcing them. On inclines, walkers can only descend at a maximum angle, above which they risk falling over. The combination of the reinforcement of paths and maximum descent angles leads to spontaneous switchback formation.

Jim Hague is a Senior Lecturer in Physics at the Open University in the UK. His main research interest is many body physics (both quantum and classical). He works on problems in biophysics, condensed matter theory and cold atoms. Jim teaches a wide range of physics topics, including relativity theory, electromagnetism and quantum physics.
If you are interested in doing a PhD in this area, please consult the Department of Physical Sciences website.

These pages are the personal responsibility of J.P.Hague. The views expressed here do not necessarily represent the views of the Open University. The University takes no responsibility for any material on these pages. Last update 8th November 2017.