The Secret of Synchronization

Publisert 31. mars. 2021
How does order spontaneously arise out of chaos? This video is sponsored by Kiwico - go to for 50% off your first month of any crate.
An enormous thanks to Prof. Steven Strogatz - this video would not have been possible without him. Much of the script-writing was inspired and informed by his wonderful book Sync, and his 2004 TED talk. He is a giant in this field, and has literally written the book on chaos, complexity, and synchronization. It was hard to find a paper in this field that Steven (or one of his students) didn't contribute to. His Podcast "The Joy of X" is wonderful - please listen and subscribe wherever you get your podcasts
Nicky Case's Amazing Firefly Interactive -
Great Kuramoto Model Interactive -
Strogatz, S. H. (2012). Sync: How order emerges from chaos in the universe, nature, and daily life. Hachette UK. -
Strogatz, S. H. (2000). From Kuramoto to Crawford: exploring the onset of synchronization in populations of coupled oscillators. Physica D: Nonlinear Phenomena, 143(1-4), 1-20. -
Goldsztein, G. H., Nadeau, A. N., & Strogatz, S. H. (2021). Synchronization of clocks and metronomes: A perturbation analysis based on multiple timescales. Chaos: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Nonlinear Science, 31(2), 023109. -
The Broughton Suspension Bridge and the Resonance Disaster -
Bennett, M., Schatz, M. F., Rockwood, H., & Wiesenfeld, K. (2002). Huygens's clocks. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Series A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences, 458(2019), 563-579. -
Pantaleone, J. (2002). Synchronization of metronomes. American Journal of Physics, 70(10), 992-1000. -
Kuramoto, Y. (1975). Self-entrainment of a population of coupled non-linear oscillators. In International symposium on mathematical problems in theoretical physics (pp. 420-422). Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg. --
Great video by Minute Earth about Tidal Locking and the Moon -
Strogatz, S. H., Abrams, D. M., McRobie, A., Eckhardt, B., & Ott, E. (2005). Crowd synchrony on the Millennium Bridge. Nature, 438(7064), 43-44. -
Zhabotinsky, A. M. (2007). Belousov-zhabotinsky reaction. Scholarpedia, 2(9), 1435. -
Flavio H Fenton et al. (2008) Cardiac arrhythmia. Scholarpedia, 3(7):1665. -
Cherry, E. M., & Fenton, F. H. (2008). Visualization of spiral and scroll waves in simulated and experimental cardiac tissue. New Journal of Physics, 10(12), 125016. -
Tyson, J. J. (1994). What everyone should know about the Belousov-Zhabotinsky reaction. In Frontiers in mathematical biology (pp. 569-587). Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg. -
Winfree, A. T. (2001). The geometry of biological time (Vol. 12). Springer Science & Business Media. -
Special thanks to Patreon supporters: Mac Malkawi, Oleksii Leonov, Michael Schneider, Jim Osmun, Tyson McDowell, Ludovic Robillard, jim buckmaster, fanime96, Juan Benet, Ruslan Khroma, Robert Blum, Richard Sundvall, Lee Redden, Vincent, Lyvann Ferrusca, Alfred Wallace, Arjun Chakroborty, Joar Wandborg, Clayton Greenwell, Pindex, Michael Krugman, Cy 'kkm' K'Nelson, Sam Lutfi, Ron Neal
Written by Derek Muller and Petr Lebedev
Animation by Fabio Albertelli and Jakub Misiek
GFX and 3D animation by Jonny Hyman
Filmed by Derek Muller and Raquel Nuno
Edited by Derek Muller
Additional video supplied by Getty Images
Thumbnail by Ignat Berbeci
More footage from NASA's Scientific Visualization Studio
100 metronome video from
Intro animation by Jorge Cham
Thanks for the BZ footage from SteinbockGroup: and
Animation of waves in the heart from The Virtual Heart/ EM Cherry/ FH Fenton - and
Chemical materials and protocol provided by Mike Morris and the UCI Chemistry Outreach Program
Thanks to Alie Ward for title/thumbnail consultation
Thanks to Dr Juliette Becker and Dr James O'Donoghue for the planetary science help
Music from Jonny Hyman, Epidemic Sound "Seaweed" "Deeper Than The Ocean" "Ripple Effect"
Music also from Artlist "Children of Mystery"
Thumbnail by Ignat Berbeci


  • The whole is more than the sum of the parts. This is classic systems theory.

  • There are tons of people, unevenly distribuited across the plantaforme, ressounding an distorded frequency.

  • Thanks V. :-) ... already ordered KiwiCrate for my 6Y old all the way to Poland. BR

  • Can you tell me something about syncing of devices on the internet?

  • who all came here from flying beast's video

  • I didn’t know the latitude and longitude thing.

  • This video bridges science and philosophy

  • Is it possible for two regular wall clocks that have been put together back-to-back to get their seconds pointers synchronized?

  • So why isint earth not tidly locked with the sun?? 11:01

  • Dear Sir, Thank you for this both brilliant and informative information. Lived in Italy Sardinia last century and heard Cricket insects finally combining their chirping in unison. Was akin to me like the B/W audience 'clapping' bit and frequency. By-the-way, as a kid did this experiment whereby you suspend a length of string horizontal between 2 chairs (any lenght or hight ) and then tie 2 another vertical strings anyplace onto the horizontal and tie a raw potatoe on each end of the downward bit and set them rocking out of motion. 'Hey Presto' they always rock finally in unison in the end despite the lengths of and variables . Makes sense the Millenum bridge across the Thames river bit. Take care. David U.K.

  • So it's probably not a coincidence that my heart starts beating with the same rythm as the music I'm listening to then!

  • Regular clapping is the result of an audience having some rhythm)

  • Thats why we dont understand Immune System, Economy and Consciousness very well... Great Conclusion

  • Who else gain knowledge !!!

  • So can you use this method to sync your clocks when measuring the speed of light, one way?

  • Could this technique be used to synchronise two clocks to measure the round trip speed of light?

  • ❤️✨🌍

  • What happens between two double pendulums?

  • Synchronization as a crystallization of time... dang. 9:19

  • Very interesting. What's that thing where you see someone yawn, and it can make you yawn, is that similar in any way?🤔😮😮😴

  • What strange is I understand how this works but don’t understand the math in how this works..if that makes sense

  • Awesome analogy by the professor. The pendulum are friends.

  • I've read Steven Strogatz' "Sync" book a decade ago, and it was enthralling. Thank you for writing that, Professor!

  • Conclusion God is Genius

  • civadas sound late in the day as you drive on a long country road. You can hear them become synchronized....Frogs croaking around a pond at night....Or the way you tune a guitar using harmonics..... that dynamic oscillation.......some people can hear the disonance waaaaay sooner than others.

  • Shiiish

  • So can u make a spinning circle if you put multiple on a circle thats on balls?

  • That's by the way a perfect explanation for the attractiveness to adjust your own thinking conform to the dominant public opinion. That takes much less energie as keep your own independent mind and be continuously out of phase with that public opinion.

  • As a child I did observe that randomly people in group start walking in synchronization but could never reason it. This video was amazing tbh!

  • this video was BEAUTIFUL! Thank you a lot! It was very inspiring!

  • I'm a synergist. I get this.

  • Wait could this be an explanation for the spooky force that keeps quantum entangled particles synced

  • I was thinking about NTP servers, but this is much better

  • You're this generation's scientist for kids to watch. The new Bill Nye, but not quite because you lead with different topics.

  • Life itself is order out of chaos. Just because it’s a law of thermodynamics doesn’t mean it applies to galaxies forming and planets forming and life forming.

  • Here after watching Flying Beast vlog

  • 1:12 so what went wrong? Death eaters mate

  • synched my blinkers with other cars to this.

  • That's Tasbeeh, the subtile and hidden melody of this known universe of ours.

  • 0:30 uh, the Word of God.

  • 7:30 On your left.

  • "What they didn't know was half the frequency was also a problem" --- LOL no, even a freshman in gened for gender studies knows better, or should.

  • Mythbusters did this very experiment with a bunch of metronomes.

  • My head is broken ._.

  • The discussion about the 2 clocks “synchronizing” 180 out of phase (3:00 thru 4:30) reminded me of something I witnessed a few years ago. Two of my grandsons (roughly aged 3 and 4 years old) somehow managed to wrestle two 6’ stepladders onto a trampoline. When I stumbled upon the scene they were both 1/2 way up their stepladders and bouncing on the trampoline 180 degrees out of phase (when one was highest in the air the other was lowest on the trampolines downward stretch). As dangerous as it appeared, it was at the same time fascinating. I can’t help but think that somehow they managed, without thinking about it, the same kind of synchronous movement achieved by the two pendulum clocks. I didn’t want to startle them and calmly asked them to stop. I was equally amazed when they managed to stop, climb off the ladders and make their way to the ground without falling. I was relieved and proud all at the same time. 😊🤷‍♂️ Now 17 and 18 years old, neither has any memory of it.

  • 19:30 and then the video stops. I hope you can do another video where this is the start ^_^. Though I suppose... given that it's his entire might require more than a video.

  • Refreshing to see something of such quality and interest

  • 5:40 All the three metronomes are pendulums in tthemselves, connected by the White base-board.

  • logically, If you can't understand the whole then perhaps you don't completely understand the parts.

  • Kuramoto Model: ON YOUR LEFT

  • Here we see,that the metronome and pendulum are "females" with period

  • 15:01 WTF

  • Majority Rules

  • Those Kiwico kits sound great. I don't have kids buy like those kind of toys. A few years ago I gave a kit of a interlocking wood frame that made a dinosaur and it had an electric motor that gave it motion - The idea was he and his father would build the thing together. (it was age appropriate). One night dad starts t build it without him and completely messes it up - apparently he can't follow instructions. The moral is an interested parent is as much part of the equation as a cool toy.

  • Great

  • Today's lesson kid's is, be a Leader not a Follower!

  • Everything goes into sync except for the two cars signaling right in front of you.

  • The answer is order is in fact a form of disorder.

  • What's a pendalum? Who was this Hoygens guy? Why not hire narrators who know how to pronounce words?

  • Loved that little bg music sync with the animation at 11:43

  • nature is so random it attempts order just to mess with ya

  • This made me miss VSAUSE

  • 6:07 Did anyone notice on 5th coloum & 6th row it was out of sync?

  • Indras web I've personally experienced full thought pattern synchronisation while I could talk with someone with my mind and thoughts .. we were close and it somehow blended ... it's weird and magical

  • According to this phenomena, if we place two watches nearby the second hand of the watch must synchronize to one another as time passes. Correct me if I am wrong!

  • after see u video hmm i thing falun gong its true.. every thing in universe its rotate...

  • Great video! Could you make a video of self-organization considering his similarity with the phenomena of the current video? (Sorry for my english :c)

  • It's already been said, but you've really upped the quality of your vids recently (and they weren't too shabby before)! Exquisite stuff

  • Because the universe has a Creator.

  • If anyone thinks nature tend to move towards chaos, doesnt knkw what they are talking about and probably failed physics.

  • 2nd law treats the universe as a closed system, which it is NOT.

  • This is the kind of breathing and colour of those who saw something beautiful

  • I became a lot smarter than I was before

  • Synchronized clapping in classical concerts is not an instance of the physical phenomenon, it is a matter of taste and expression of musical beings. It is voluntary, not emergent. It is rather likely to occur in concerts in Brazil and almost never happens in Poland. The person who put this in the video... has not been to many concerts. Clapping in phase means we want an encore. In Brazil and possibly elsewhere a pianist will give an encore immediately if the audience asks in this way. When I do want a bis, I listen to the clapping and find the pulse. It’s intentional.

  • Listen to Steve Reich's "Violin Phase" for an optimal soundtrack to this video :)

  • Dammit veritasium stop keeping me awake!

  • When I was young I often went to church and when we had to eat the host everybody walked in lines oscillating like penguins all at the same I understand why, that’s amazing

    • so, similar to "when you stare into the abyss, the abyss stares back at you", "When you beat something into rhythm, that something also beats you into rhythm."

  • You idiots got the Moon thing wrong but, OK...

  • Subscribed. Like the video and your voice! Thank you for making/creating this video!

  • Nice

  • An easy way to get synchronization is to go”ooh oooohhhh oohhhh ooohhh oooooohhh” in a room full of guys

  • Narrator: to understand it, we have to go back 350 years. My stoned ass: Well let's go then.* smirks with a smile, leans back in chair and props foot on knee*

  • Great video! 👍

  • That metronome syncing was amazing. In saying that - is everyone getting an ad per minute or is it just me? Is google syncing our ads cos its driving me mad. Time to move all content onto TikTok Veritasium

  • I have zero interest in this whatsoever. But I watched it all and loved every minute of it.

  • My brain!!! I LOVED THIS VIDEO!

  • Quick question, why did the pendulums sync out of phase but all the metronomes synced to the same phase?

  • ...periods in the amazon brigade

  • Almost as if it was designed...

  • 7:30 Captain America and The Falcon first meeting 15:02 - happy 420

  • Wait is this the same huygen who proposed why waves diffract through small gaps?

  • I really don’t care how it works, I just love watching 100 metrothingys all clicking together. How soothing!

  • The last comment about understanding. If understanding a way to get a grasp on things like disease and everything that is earthly would be a great first achievement. Then they can move on to the spiritual, worm holes and time travel. See all the parallel universes and dimensions. Everything seen and unseen is vibrating at an unknown resonant frequency. Our eyes can only see the light of this plane (earthly plane) that is vibrating. If only the eyes of our soul could see 👀 the spiritual plane, while still alive.

  • When your heartbeat synchronized with someone you hug

  • Where there's universe there's order, and where there's order there's God.

  • 3:54 that happened with the flashers of two cars

  • This remember me to find the mcm

  • This is the kind of breathing and colour of those who saw something beautiful

  • Love makes him more productive, I guess