5 Metronomes Spontaneously Synchronize On A Shifting Surface

December 14, 2020

This is quite fascinating.

In this video, a man starts 5 metronomes at different times on a shifting surface. Within a minute, all five of the metronomes are perfectly in sync. But why did they adjust to each other's beat when they are completely separate from one another?

To understand this phenomenon, we found this explanation by MIT:

"Nature likes to optimize energy, or achieve goals in the most efficient and distributed manner. This principle can be witnessed in the synchrony of nature, like heart cells beating together or schools of fish moving as one. Similarly, if you set two pendulum clocks on the same surface, no matter when the individual pendula are set into motion, they will eventually be lulled into a synchronized rhythm, reaching their apex at the same time but moving in opposite directions (or out of phase). This phenomenon was first observed in 1665 by the Dutch scientist Christiaan Huygens. These clocks are an example of coupled oscillators, set up in such a way that energy can be transferred between them."

Watch the video below.

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