Crowding, jamming and cooperativity in dense population flows: experimental physical model

Nicolas waisbord

Nationality French

Year of selection 2011

Institution Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1

Country France

Risk Socio-Economics


3 years

120000 €

Predicting the Movement of Crowds

November 2010, 400 people were killed on a bridge following a panic-induced stampede in Cambodia. Predicting how crowds will react and move in an emergency situation has always been a challenge for rescue teams and event organizers. Behind these chaotic movements, however, are laws of physics that can be found at every scale of nature: in swarms of bees, schools of fish and successions of microorganisms. Based on this observation, Nicolas Waisbord is using particle physics to develop new models capable of describing the movements of each individual in a group and their interactions. “The aim of this research is to prevent mobs or stampedes, but also to develop response protocols for directing the flow of mass movement in the event of an emergency.”

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