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(The Atlantic)   Grad student goes to a metal show and accidently discovers some physics. "It turns out that the statistical description we use for gasses matches the behavior of people in mosh pits. In other words, people bounce around like the molecules in a gas"   (theatlantic.com) divider line 54
    More: Spiffy, physics, collective behavior, molecules, descriptions, statistics, Heavy metal, flashing lights  
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1987 clicks; posted to Geek » on 13 Feb 2013 at 9:49 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-02-13 08:18:28 PM  
I had no idea gas molecules could cease brownian motion if they got 'accidentally' kneed in the gonads.
 
2013-02-13 08:29:09 PM  
Bullshiat, you aren't allowed to have fun as a grad student.
 
2013-02-13 09:44:58 PM  
He's not the first person to think of that. In fact I used that very example earlier today in physics lecture.

/The molecules in a solid have assigned seating
 
2013-02-13 09:55:34 PM  

revrendjim: He's not the first person to think of that. In fact I used that very example earlier today in physics lecture.

/The molecules in a solid have assigned seating


The molecules in a liquid have taken the brown acid and are just wandering around, being loose and weird, man.
 
2013-02-13 09:55:45 PM  
It wouldn't be your typical "ideal gas". Collisions are inelastic, and the molecule - molecule distance isn't large compared to the "molecule" diameter.
 
2013-02-13 09:59:38 PM  

Fabric_Man: revrendjim: He's not the first person to think of that. In fact I used that very example earlier today in physics lecture.

/The molecules in a solid have assigned seating

The molecules in a liquid have taken the brown acid and are just wandering around, being loose and weird, man.


Far out, that's a gas! Anyway I gotta split...
 
2013-02-13 10:07:37 PM  
newflash people's perception of the world is skewed by what they do on a daily basis. Perhaps if he was a chef he would see it as scrambling eggs or mixing dough.
 
2013-02-13 10:08:59 PM  
It's amazing what drugs can do to the mind when at a metal concert...
 
2013-02-13 10:10:00 PM  
Grad student makes an analogy out of a mosh pit that kind of works for gaseous molecules. This doesn't mean anything to science.
 
2013-02-13 10:10:51 PM  
Jumpin' Jack Flash...
 
2013-02-13 10:11:18 PM  
So, people are farts

/where's the obvious tag?
 
2013-02-13 10:14:24 PM  

Skyrmion: It wouldn't be your typical "ideal gas". Collisions are inelastic, and the molecule - molecule distance isn't large compared to the "molecule" diameter.


As well, there seems to be preferential attraction near hot chicks.

/there goes the equivalent intermolecular forces assumption
 
2013-02-13 10:16:27 PM  

farbekrieg: newflash people's perception of the world is skewed by what they do on a daily basis. Perhaps if he was a chef he would see it as scrambling eggs or mixing dough.


Know how I know you didn't read the article?
 
2013-02-13 10:40:59 PM  
Prof: So where were you? You missed class again.
Student: See I was at a metal show, and --
Prof: You were what?
Student: No! It was research!
 
2013-02-13 10:44:41 PM  
<i> When something like the "wall of death" ("moshers split into two groups separated by an open space and, when signaled, simultaneously run at the opposing group") happens, we needsomeoneto try and explain what's going on. And that's what scientists are here for, right? </i>

Wall of death is a different beast from the usual mosh pit. Mosh pits are chaotic but not primarily meant to hurt people, and there is some etiquette you should follow such as keeping elbows down and helping people back up. You push and jostle and jump around. A wall of death, on the other hand, has you charge at people and slam into them to start with. After just devolves into moshing basically as usual, but the etiquette is different.

At least, this is my understanding.
 
2013-02-13 10:45:45 PM  
When the fat molecule stagedives, all the other molecules back away and let them hit the floor?
 
2013-02-13 10:46:40 PM  
So... you're saying that the original model used for describing random motion of molecules -- the very same model that is literally based on a drunkard's walk -- also describes drunk people thrashing around at a concert?

Brilliant.
 
2013-02-13 10:46:52 PM  
Whew, I'm sure glad I'm not a superheated gas!

/braaaaap
 
2013-02-13 10:55:21 PM  
PV=nRRRRRRRRRRRRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGGGGGGGGGGGGGEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE
 
2013-02-13 11:12:43 PM  

kg2095: Fabric_Man: revrendjim: He's not the first person to think of that. In fact I used that very example earlier today in physics lecture.

/The molecules in a solid have assigned seating

The molecules in a liquid have taken the brown acid and are just wandering around, being loose and weird, man.

Far out, that's a gas! Anyway I gotta split...


How would you explain the concept of nuclear fusion?
 
2013-02-13 11:17:56 PM  
I went t a show once, and everyone started making cardboard swords and armour from some boxes in the back of the place. Then the mosh pit became a medieval style battle between North Florida and South Florida. God, that was fun.

//I survived 305 Fest 2006
///the venue......not so much.
 
2013-02-13 11:23:33 PM  

revrendjim: He's not the first person to think of that. In fact I used that very example earlier today in physics lecture.

/The molecules in a solid have assigned seating


I"m pretty sure it's been used to describe movement of crowds before -  trying to remember the episode of howthingswork that used this analogy
 
2013-02-13 11:24:14 PM  

turbocucumber: kg2095: Fabric_Man: revrendjim: He's not the first person to think of that. In fact I used that very example earlier today in physics lecture.

/The molecules in a solid have assigned seating

The molecules in a liquid have taken the brown acid and are just wandering around, being loose and weird, man.

Far out, that's a gas! Anyway I gotta split...

How would you explain the concept of nuclear fusion?


Imagine a skinny dude having sex with a really fat chick...
 
2013-02-13 11:27:05 PM  
Apparently you can model stock price changes with some of the same equations you use for modelling Brownian motion.  It's exactly the same, right guys?  Guys?
 
2013-02-13 11:27:34 PM  
Hmm... People in sufficient numbers can be viewed as gas molecules... That idea should be the foundation of a sci-fi story, maybe a novel...
 
2013-02-13 11:36:26 PM  
Also pissed that I've had basically this vision of the Kinetic Theory of Gasses yet never had the imagination to submit it to The Atlantic.
 
2013-02-13 11:36:43 PM  
I have a theory that the way that people pack themselves into elevators reflects packing theory in mathematics. The "agents" attempt to maximize the amount of space around themselves, while not encroaching dangerously on the space of the other crazies.

One person, center of elevator.
Two, opposite sides.
Three, a rough triangle.
Four, one in each corner.
Five, one in center.
Six, regular rectangle.

And then it starts to get interesting because "common sense" has nothing to tell us about optimal packing.

Of course, I can't be sure that this really works for larger numbers. Most elevators are too small and they tend not to vary in shape much. But it stands to reason that people will approximate optimal packing if they all ignore each other but attempt to avoid stepping on each other's toes.
 
2013-02-13 11:44:57 PM  

brantgoose: I have a theory that the way that people pack themselves

...

Your theory fails explain effects observed in the presence of back packs, bicycles, or carts. Does it assume these articles are represented by perfect circles, or ellipsoids? Furthermore, I prefer to lean against the wall when alone in an elevator, rather than stand in the exact center. I deny your grant application due to unsupportable hypotheses in your initial plan of investigation and an abject failure to cite the ever loving crap out of my personal body of work.
 
2013-02-13 11:45:19 PM  

Fano: turbocucumber: kg2095: Fabric_Man: revrendjim: He's not the first person to think of that. In fact I used that very example earlier today in physics lecture.

/The molecules in a solid have assigned seating

The molecules in a liquid have taken the brown acid and are just wandering around, being loose and weird, man.

Far out, that's a gas! Anyway I gotta split...

How would you explain the concept of nuclear fusion?

Imagine a skinny dude having sex with a really fat chick...


Or maybe a fat pedo?

harharandshelly.files.wordpress.com

/and don't yell at me, I know that's not fusion
 
2013-02-13 11:46:21 PM  
Yeah, he's the first person to describe a mosh pit as Brownian motion.

/sheesh
 
2013-02-14 12:11:35 AM  
this kind of shiat is why 60% of the world believes in the greenhouse effect even though its own creator disproved it more than two decades ago...
 
2013-02-14 12:20:53 AM  
So, in spite of our rage, we are still just gas in a cage?
 
2013-02-14 12:21:09 AM  

prjindigo: this kind of shiat is why 60% of the world believes in the greenhouse effect even though its own creator disproved it more than two decades ago...


[Citation needed]
 
2013-02-14 12:44:33 AM  
Do molecules take their shirts off?
 
2013-02-14 12:59:10 AM  
Particle motion is influenced by bad music? Who knew?
 
2013-02-14 01:09:53 AM  

poorjon: brantgoose: I have a theory that the way that people pack themselves...

Your theory fails explain effects observed in the presence of back packs, bicycles, or carts. Does it assume these articles are represented by perfect circles, or ellipsoids? Furthermore, I prefer to lean against the wall when alone in an elevator, rather than stand in the exact center. I deny your grant application due to unsupportable hypotheses in your initial plan of investigation and an abject failure to cite the ever loving crap out of my personal body of work.


First, we assume a spherical human...
 
2013-02-14 01:33:23 AM  

brantgoose: I have a theory that the way that people pack themselves into elevators reflects packing theory in mathematics. The "agents" attempt to maximize the amount of space around themselves, while not encroaching dangerously on the space of the other crazies.

One person, center of elevator.
Two, opposite sides.
Three, a rough triangle.
Four, one in each corner.
Five, one in center.
Six, regular rectangle.

And then it starts to get interesting because "common sense" has nothing to tell us about optimal packing.

Of course, I can't be sure that this really works for larger numbers. Most elevators are too small and they tend not to vary in shape much. But it stands to reason that people will approximate optimal packing if they all ignore each other but attempt to avoid stepping on each other's toes.


This theory does not hold water in any elevator I've ever been in.  In ideal conditions, sure, but there's always one asshole, and he has a backpack, he moves during the ride, and he makes no effort to approximate optimal packaging because he WANTS to be near other people.

You can see a larger example of this on the DC metro, or in an empty movie theater.  For every person who wants optimal packaging, there's one asshole who is inexplicably drawn to other people like a moth to the flame, because his mother smothered him with love as a youth and he thinks it's normal.

Maybe once a year if I have a random day off I'll go see a movie in the middle of a day during a work week.  If one person comes in, the first person will usually, but not always, choose a seat nowhere near me.  In the middle, sure, but a few rows removed.  If a second person comes in, that person always sits uncomfortably close to either party.  And it's not a matter of wanting to sit in the center - if you have 38 out of 40 rows to choose from, you don't have to pick the row in the middle of the two existing people.  But someone always does.  Given that the person that showed up first has the optimal seat right in the middle, the third person can, at best, average the second best seat in the house, which is why I think it happens.

Where it gets ridiculous is that rare case where it's just me and one other person, they sit near me, and I move.  Then THEY move closer to where I moved.  Then I turn into angry Homer Simpson with much yelling, and we both end up sitting in non-optimal seats on opposite corners of the theater.

At that point I usually leave - the movie is ruined at that point.  Optimal packaging at a movie theater is the one not full of the type of people who can go see movies at 11am on a Monday.
 
2013-02-14 02:25:34 AM  

brantgoose: One person, center of elevator.


I'm the asshole who leans into one corner with his feet encroaching the middle


/where is your science now?!
 
2013-02-14 03:09:03 AM  
Obvious tag.
We bullshat about mosh pits being gas, traffic being schools of fish and all that sheet man like, back when the pit was cool.
 
2013-02-14 03:59:46 AM  
He should take it to the next level and actually map out a mosh pit. Like how they put all those tracking devices into the tornado at the end of Twister. Just give everybody a little chip as they come into venue and tell them to put it in their pocket.
 
2013-02-14 06:14:39 AM  

snowjack: I had no idea gas molecules could cease brownian motion if they got 'accidentally' kneed in the gonads.


What if its very intentional?
www.errandboy.ws

/I know its shooped
//still flat out hilarious
 
2013-02-14 06:25:25 AM  
What about nosh pits, eh?
 
2013-02-14 06:56:03 AM  

revrendjim: He's not the first person to think of that. In fact I used that very example earlier today in physics lecture.

/The molecules in a solid have assigned seating


When I'm a physics teacher, this is what my exams will look like:

"Dave Brockie squirts fake semen into the crowd at an angle of 38 degrees with a muzzle velocity that varies from 0 to 3 m/s. How many rows back would you have to sit to be in the clear if the stage is six feet high, and the angle of elevation of the floor is 10 degrees?"

"Jello Biafra, a dilectric, stands in a puddle of water during a Kennedys show and gets too close to the mic.  If the area of the mic head and water are each .001 m, the distance from his mouth to his feet is 1.5 m, and his presence causes a potential drop from 3 x 104V to 1x104V, calculate Jello's permittivity."
 
2013-02-14 08:04:27 AM  

prjindigo: this kind of shiat is why 60% of the world believes in the greenhouse effect even though its own creator disproved it more than two decades ago...


imgs.xkcd.com
 
2013-02-14 08:40:54 AM  
Well, that confirms it: Grad students are officially the most useless people on this planet.
 
2013-02-14 09:02:00 AM  

FunkOut: When the fat molecule stagedives, all the other molecules back away and let Them hit the floor LET THE BODIES HIT THE FLOOR LET THE BODIES HIT THE FLOOR?

 
2013-02-14 09:35:27 AM  
I farted in a Mosh Pit once, does he have a theory for what happens when a gas interacts with his gas model?
 
2013-02-14 10:27:24 AM  
They call it heavy metal. Heavy metal. Who still uses that term? And he calls it a mosh pit. A <i>mosh pit</i>. I know what a mosh is, and I know what a pit is, and they have been different things since at least 1997. Scientist GTFO.
 
2013-02-14 10:58:05 AM  

WhippingBoy: Well, that confirms it: Grad students are officially the most useless people on this planet.


YEAH! When did mathematical analysis of random stuff in our environment ever do anything useful?!! BOO MATH!
 
2013-02-14 12:04:29 PM  

xkillyourfacex: They call it heavy metal. Heavy metal. Who still uses that term? And he calls it a mosh pit. A <i>mosh pit</i>. I know what a mosh is, and I know what a pit is, and they have been different things since at least 1997. Scientist GTFO.


dude, he's a nerd. he's going to be at least ten years or more behind.
 
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