It turns out your best friend in a zombie apocalypse isn’t a shotgun toting roughrider – it’s an Ivy League physics nerd.
Researchers at Cornell University, inspired by reading World War Z, presented work recently at the 2015 American Physical Society March Meeting which focused on modeling the way a “zombie outbreak” would take place.
The researchers are graduate students in something called statistical mechanics, which is a branch of theoretical physics used to describe the states and outcomes of complex random systems.
A mutating fast spreading strain of a zombie virus is a perfect case study for them and they came up with some very interesting thoughts.
They suggested that – unlike most movies – even though the spread of the disease would be rapid in densely populated areas, it would take much longer for it to spread to more northern and less populated regions.
One of the researchers was quoted as saying:
“Given the dynamics of the disease, once the zombies invade more sparsely populated areas, the whole outbreak slows down—there are fewer humans to bite, so you start creating zombies at a slower rate,” he elaborates. “I’d love to see a fictional account where most of New York City falls in a day, but upstate New York has a month or so to prepare.”
Which is a fancy way of saying, go build a remote mountain cabin and you’ll likely be a lot safer than you think when the zombies attack.
It seems that unlike most horror movies, running into the woods is actually a good idea in a real zombie apocalypse.
Cover photo: The Walking Dead