Four students at the Laboratory of Atomic and Solid State Physics and Department of Physics at Cornell have written probably the coolest research paper ever, where they scientifically examine the motions of the mosh pit to "enhance our understanding of collective motion in riots, protests, and panicked crowds, leading to new architectural safety design principles that limit the risk of injury at extreme social gatherings."

WHOA. A sample:

Conversely, when the flocking term dominates active MASHer motion, our model predicts a highly ordered vortex-like state [19] where MASHers again phase separate, but the confined active MASHers move with a large non-zero angular momentum (Fig. 1(D)). Remarkably, this spontaneous phase separation and vortex formation is also observed at heavy metal concerts where they are conventionally called circle pits (Fig. 1(E)) [7]. In simulations, we found an even distribution between clockwise (CW) and counter-clockwise (CCW) motion when viewed from above, whereas our observations from concerts show 5% flow CW with the remaining 95% flowing CCW (p < 0.001). This asymmetry is independent of geographical location, as video data was collected from a variety of countries including the United State of America, the United Kingdom, and Australia. Though the origin of this effect is unknown, we speculate it may be related to the dominant handedness/footedness found in humans.

Read the whole thing here.

Or, as my husband pointed out, if you wanted to know about circle pits and moshing, you could just ask these dudes.