Summary of How Fluid Dynamics Can Help You Navigate Crowds

If you plan to be in a seething mass of humans at some point – whether it’s an inauguration or protest thereof – here's how to keep yourself safe

Smithsonian,

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How Fluid Dynamics Can Help You Navigate Crowds summary
Crowds can be scary places - here’s how to act if you are in one.

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8 Innovation

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Recommendation

When dance music fans from all over the world congregated in Duisburg, Germany, on July 24, 2010, to celebrate the popular Love Parade, it was the first time the festival took place in a closed-off area. When people streamed through a narrow access road, a panic ensued. As people frantically tried to escape the crowd, 21 died and more than 500 suffered injuries. Writing for Smithsonian magazine, science writer Evelyn Lamb describes how scientists study crowds and explains how event organizers and participants can prevent disaster. getAbstract recommends Lamb’s insightful analysis to people who expect to find themselves in a crowd.

In this summary, you will learn

  • Why people in crowds behave a bit like electron particles,
  • How pedestrians normally manage to avoid bumping into each other in crowded places,
  • Why that strategy doesn’t work in tighter crowds and
  • How you should behave in a crowd.
 

Summary

From an aerial perspective, a large congregation of people resembles a pool of liquid in motion. In fact, scientists garner insights about crowds using the methods they employ to research fluid and particle dynamics. Of course, people differ from particles – particles don’t care where they are heading...
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About the Author

Evelyn Lamb is a freelance science writer for publications such as Smithsonian magazine and Scientific American.


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