New Study Analyzes Heavy Metal Dancing
2/26/2013 4:47:00 PM
From National Geographic:
"To most scientists, heavy metal refers to elements on the lower end of the periodic table. But to Jesse Silverberg and Matt Bierbaum, doctoral students at Cornell University's department of Condensed Matter Physics, the aggressive music—and the violent dancing that accompanies it—could be a key to understanding extreme situations such as riots and panicked responses to disasters.
For the past two years, Silverberg and Bierbaum have studied 'moshing,' at heavy metal concerts, using theories of collective motion and the physical properties of gasses to better understand the chaos of metal fans' dancing.
Moshing, for those who have never attended a heavy metal show, is a form of dancing in which participants bump, jostle, and slam into one another. It's a form of social ritual that anthropologists have likened to spirit possession in its uncontrolled, dynamic, and often violent nature.
Silverberg and Bierbaum say it can also be understood by applying models of gaseous particles. As these particles float in groups, they too run, bash, and slam into each other, sending the elements flying in chaotic patterns.
'We are interested in how humans behave in similar excited states,' said Silverberg, 'but it's not exactly ethical to start a riot for research.'
Read the full article HERE, the study HERE, and if you're still clueless, the Wikipedia article HERE.