Experimental proof of faster-is-slower in systems of frictional particles flowing through constrictions
The ¿faster-is-slower¿ (FIS) effect was first predicted by computer simulations of the egress of pedestrians through a narrow exit [D. Helbing, I. J. Farkas, and T. Vicsek, Nature (London) 407, 487 (2000)]. FIS refers to the finding that, under certain conditions, an excess of the individuals' vigor in the attempt to exit causes a decrease in the flow rate. In general, this effect is identified by the appearance of a minimum when plotting the total evacuation time of a crowd as a function of the pedestrian desired velocity. Here, we experimentally show that the FIS effect indeed occurs in three different systems of discrete particles flowing through a constriction: (a) humans evacuating a room, (b) a herd of sheep entering a barn, and (c) grains flowing out a 2D hopper over a vibrated incline. This finding suggests that FIS is a universal phenomenon for active matter passing through a narrowing.