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February 13, 2013 4:16 PM Subscribe
Moshers, Heavy Metal and Emergent Behaviour
: The collective behaviour of moshers at heavy metal concerts is mathematically similar to a disordered 2D gas, say physicists.Silverberg and co gathered their data by examining videos of mosh pits on You Tube, such as this one and this one. These crowds contain anything from 100 to 100,000 people. After correcting for camera shake and distortions in perspective, they used particle image velicometry techniques to measure the collective motion of moshers.
What they discovered was that the speed distribution of moshers closely matches that of molecules in a 2D gas at equilibrium.
That’s curious. “Why does an inherently non-equilibrium system exhibit equilibrium characteristics?”, they ask.