Physicists Think Power Grid is Too Big
Some 90 years ago, British polymath J.B.S. Haldane proposed that for every animal there is an optimal size—one which allows it to make best use of its environment and the physical laws that govern its activities, whether hiding, hunting, hoofing or hibernating. Today, three researchers are asking whether there is a “right” size for another type of huge beast: the U.S. power grid. David Newman, a physicist at the University of Alaska, believes that smaller grids would reduce the likelihood of severe outages, such as the 2003 Northeast blackout that cut power to 50 million people in the U.S. and Canada for up to two days.
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