If you place those 32 metronomes on a rigid surface, they will continue to run out of synchrony forever. If instead you place them on a moveable platform, it will begin oscillating side to side with increasing amplitude until the discordant rebels finally comply. There is probably a social behavior parallel somewhere, but the more important principle at work is the likening the system (metronomes + moveable platform) to a resonant circuit with feedback. Surely someone reading this can supply an equation for us that models the phenomenon.
Posted May 2013
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