“They made a model of the flaperon, put it into a tank, and ran tests on it. They took into account the sail effect — how much wind might affect the floating object. They calculated wave action. They allowed for surface currents, tidal currents, and deeper ocean currents. And finally, they took into account the flaperon’s permeability — how much it became waterlogged and degraded over the months it spent floating at sea. All that went into the model. As more debris washed up on various islands and the African mainland, they added that to the model, as well.”
Feynman sum-over-histories diagrams
It’s a mathematical and geometric way of diagramming the probability of particle interactions. Like in a particle collider? I just adapted the process to the ocean, treating it mathematically like a sea of interacting particles and forces. The math is terrifying and you need a supercomputer.