Smithsonian.com : How fluid dynamics can help you navigate crowds
The Smithsonian magazine published an article discussing how to navigate safely through a crowd. In the article, Professor Helbing explains how modeling a crowd as interacting particles can give insights into how to keep safe in such situations.
"As a crowd gets denser, the smooth flow of pedestrians moving forward and avoiding collisions gives way to what are called stop-and-go waves. These are basically what they sound like: the crowd is too dense for people to move forward continuously, so people move forward into any gaps. Then, they stop and wait for another opportunity to move forward. Stop-and-go waves do not always portend disaster. But, Helbing says, “the stop-and-go wave is an advance warning signal for the situation in the crowd becoming critical.”," wrote Smithsonian.com.