Ah, Mosh Pits. I had almost forgotten they existed since I have gotten soft and singer-songwriter friendly in my old age (yikes, I know). But I do have many a
fond memory awkward recollection of being involuntarily fondled in a hardcore crowd in my days of questionable fashion choices and punk show outings.
Proving that you can thrash, bash, and still have a few braincells crashing around upstairs… a couple of Cornell University graduate students (Matt Bierbaum and Jesse Silverberg) have done a study on the physics of moshing… and it’s pretty hardcore, guys.
Using just a few variables, like how fast people moved and how dense the crowd was, Bierbaum and Silverberg created a mathematical model that they presented at this week’s March meeting of the American Physical Society. According to NPR, It’s not just the metal heads that obey these kinds of basic mathematical rules but also flocks of birds and schools of fish do similar things. So do car drivers. Now concertgoers can be added to the list. The new mosh pit research could be interesting for another reason. In emergencies people panic, and the movement rules they follow change. Mosh pits might provide clues about the new rules.”We hope that this will provide a lens into looking at other extreme situations such as riots and protests and escape panic,” Bierbaum says.
You can hear the full story over at NPR here and refresh yourself on the rules of the mosh pit below (and oh yes, there are rules)…