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Ever get stuck in a traffic jam (stupid Mass Turnpike) only to finally break free and realize there was no construction or accident or obstruction of any kind causing the delay? Why does traffic bottleneck on freeways for no apparent reason? Now, you can know, thanks to the Ask an Engineer feature on the School of Engineering’s Web site.

MIT experts tackle many of life’s vexing questions, such as

  • Why does our hair turn gray—as opposed to green or some other color—as we age?
  • Why hasn’t commercial air travel gotten any faster since the 1960s?
  • What are the chances that a large asteroid will collide with Earth—and will we see it coming?
  • How do medicines know where in the body to start working?


  • Can we build a time machine?

See what you think of the answers or submit your own and try to stump the engineers.