On its opening day the London Millennium footbridge experienced unexpected large amplitude wobbling subsequent to the migration of pedestrians onto the bridge. Modeling the stepping of the pedestrians on the bridge as phase oscillators, we obtain a model for the combined dynamics of people and the bridge that is analytically tractable. It provides predictions for the phase dynamics of individual walkers and for the critical number of people for the onset of oscillations. Numerical simulations and analytical estimates reproduce the linear relation between pedestrian force and bridge velocity as observed in experiments. They allow prediction of the amplitude of bridge motion, the rate of relaxation to the synchronized state and the magnitude of the fluctuations due to a finite number of people.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Journal||Physical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics|
|State||Published - Feb 12 2007|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
- Statistics and Probability
- Condensed Matter Physics