Watch 32 Metronomes Synchronize with Each Other

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