The Secret of Synchronization
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 - www.complexity-explorables.or...


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., \u0026 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., \u0026 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., \u0026 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., \u0026 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 \u0026 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
Simulations 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

  • Esther Goodman
    Esther Goodman

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  • Viewable11

    Prof. Steven Strogatz is an idiot. His analogy with _"friends who run around a track and adjust speed to each other out of sympathy"_ is stupid because neither emotions nor intellect has anything to do with synchronizing metronomes. The correct explanation is much simpler: Each metronome has a potential energy defined by its current position angle ("phase"). The metronomes transfer their potential energy towards the movable supporting bar which connects them, and that bar distributes that energy to all metronomes, thereby causing synchronization of phases. His claim, _"You might think, if you increase the coupling you gradually get the metronomes more and more synchronized: That is _*_not_*_ what happens"_ is false, too. The coupling of the metronomes that stand on a bar of wood is achieved by transferring energy via friction between the bottom surface of the metronome and the wood bar. If the friction coefficient between these surfaces were zero, there would be no coupling and the metronomes would not synchronize. The higher the friction coefficient is, the *faster* the synchronization happens. His comparison with freezing of water is also stupid, because the coupling mechanism of *friction* has nothing to do with water's phase change from fluid to solid. The comparison with a clapping audience is also stupid, because metronomes are not intelligent beings which can synchronize at will. The same is true for comparisons with animals.

  • r s
    r s

    disorder is a man made concept ,.. no such thing exist. Everything is in his own order . we are the ones that define order ,.. because we like it in a certain way we call that order ,.. one could say if everything is in disorder it itself is certain kind of order .

  • philosopherhobbs

    I wonder what synchronicity looks like at the sub-atomic level.

  • Dizzyy 6
    Dizzyy 6

    This is very similar to the work Stephen Wolfram does with Cellular automata

  • William Smith
    William Smith

    God is the answer. He designed it all.

  • Nikhil Sen
    Nikhil Sen

    There is something called superfluorescene phenomenon in which light emitters synchronize with each other to give out a short burst of light

  • Shaheen Mujeeb
    Shaheen Mujeeb

    Hi from Mstrix student!

  • MeekLeaf

    As a marine engineer, i stydied the synchronization for a while, primarily in engines, where we have a special part of an engine which increases the rotation or decreases it when the engine needs due to inertia. Just like the circle you showed us. While the second part of the video can be more related to synchronization of diezel generators in pairs.

  • Ajay Visakh A K
    Ajay Visakh A K

    When u share something you are interested in to your folks and somehow they turn it out to a lifelong lecture about yourself 19:01

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    Tuan Le

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  • Ajay Visakh A K
    Ajay Visakh A K

    15:01 His FACE !!! LOL !!!

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    Kameron Rylan

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  • ilove bigbrother
    ilove bigbrother

    6:00 You can actually see the rightmost metronome being pushed harder from increased occilation

  • Gregory DeRario
    Gregory DeRario

    0:16 the metronomes aren’t even synchronized. The one in the right is out of order just pause the vid 🌝

  • Phillip Coiner
    Phillip Coiner

    I know you, you know me, synchronicity

  • Ryan Khansary
    Ryan Khansary

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  • Arek

    Milenial = 1000 166 - left leg 166- right leg 332 is the answer? if there are parallel realities, can we assume that in one of them the same results describe e.g. social behavior?..

  • ryanhaart

    The animations of the clock pendulums are hilariously unnatural. Did a 6-year old schoolboy program them?

  • Tasilo von Heydebrandt und der Lasa
    Tasilo von Heydebrandt und der Lasa

    You show a misleading video of 20th century British soldiers while simultaneously discussing 19th century soldiers walking in lock step.

  • Mars Prospekt
    Mars Prospekt

    I remember a Mythbuster episode about resonate frequencies that relates to this and its interesting to see this in work in enormous groups of swarming birds

  • The Founding Fathers were Deists
    The Founding Fathers were Deists

    Now apply this to electrical generation. Spinning magnets against copper coils is how every power plants gets electricity. Nuclear, coal, even some solar plants use heat to make steam and turn these turbines. Imagine if they used synchronization to amplify the amount of power generated.

  • Gaming News tv
    Gaming News tv

    I actually found it weird that everyone walked at the same time

  • Čube Merula
    Čube Merula

    Aha!!! So the penguins are making the ice cap collapse?!?!

  • Čube Merula
    Čube Merula

    This millennium bridge example is a part of the conspiracy to turn people against solidarity and to reaffirm the the detrimental Naish theory on stable systems. Don't listen to it. Proletarians of the world - synchronize!!!!

  • Čube Merula
    Čube Merula

    That's not an egg shape. Have you ever seen an egg? It has one point "sharper" than the other.

  • Čube Merula
    Čube Merula

    Have you noticed how we didn't have to go back 350 years to that boring cartoon? Well, boringish.

  • Čube Merula
    Čube Merula

    I couldn't spot the phase transition in those applauders. It wasn't there. But I get what you're saying; fire flies transfer the energy over the tree branches and after awhile the tree collapses like the bridge under an army.

  • Čube Merula
    Čube Merula

    And menstruation. Don't forget the menstruation.

  • mallu commenter
    mallu commenter

    In class times its several times happens that a loud noisy class becomes silent for a second for no reason.Maybe its also a synchronization

  • Phil Swaim
    Phil Swaim

    2nd law of thermodynamics doesnt say things tend towards chaos or disorder. Thats a creationist pseudoscience lie. The 2nd law indicates that systems tend towards equilibrium and models natural processes and their effect towards a new equilibrium. Remember also that laws in science arent laws. Theyre descriptions of what happens in reality. You can violate scientific laws because laws are descriptive not prescriptive. If we see something break a law, we change the law to account for and explain or describe our new understanding.

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    Jack White

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    Rich ard

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    Trent Ufford

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  • Raven John
    Raven John

    mmm all the delicious meat just waiting in a synchronized fashion to be eaten like lams to the slaughter 1:48

  • Holzman Michel
    Holzman Michel

    Is it a myth that if you have several women living in one household, their menstruation cycles will synchronize?

    • Holzman Michel
      Holzman Michel

      @aeria gloris It's true, right?

    • aeria gloris
      aeria gloris

      No its not

  • Prashant Athavale
    Prashant Athavale

    Could you kindly go easy on the sound at 19:33 next time? Thank you 🙏

  • Benjamin Li
    Benjamin Li

    5:17 "And yet they still beat in time" Drumline instructors: *THERES SO MUCH DIRT*

  • Segendary

    Doesn't that other guy kinda sound like Bill Gates?

  • John

    this video is more entertaining than my online classes

  • FarmersAreCool

    Who doesn't understand the economy ? Seems the only people who don't understand the economy are economists. The problem with understanding an economy with science: Material reductionism.

  • shin1300

    Wht pendulum in a hanging platform synch? Video: makes a detailed explanation Me: pendulum peer pressure

  • Zoltán Darabos
    Zoltán Darabos

    I am from Hungary, and we commonly did the prank when few of us, like 3-4, started to clap slowly after a show in theatre. It worked every time, exactly the same thing happened as in the videoclip from Budapest. You just have to wait until there is chaos in clapping, then start a loud, slow, synchronized clap with your friends.

  • Joemarie Paa
    Joemarie Paa

    This is just the matrix messing with us

  • Ákos Lucz
    Ákos Lucz

    9:41 This is a conscious action. This is what we call "vastaps"(heavy applause). This is a reward for an absolutely outstanding performance. Not completely spontaneous.

  • Sum G
    Sum G

    I like his little dance once he got the metronome to stay

  • BowTie 8 Bit
    BowTie 8 Bit

    So, synchronicity is the inevitable discovery by energy itself of the path of least resistance.

  • Jena Allred
    Jena Allred

    13:55 Nilered is that you?!

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    nisoe qajie

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  • Douglas Williams
    Douglas Williams

    Gravitational Force was used to explain moon synchronicity suggesting it stretches moons into egg shapes. What happened to General Relativity’s conclusion that gravity is not a force but just the warping of space time? Is it actually space time that stretching planets into egg shapes? Also, curious how our moon is gradually escaping the effect of warped space rather than being turned gradually toward the earth? If it’s simply moving too fast, how was it captured to begin with?

  • Zach Hostory
    Zach Hostory

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    Danniel Oberlin

    6:08 china comes to mind

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    Dineo O'Brien

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    • Isabella Jones
      Isabella Jones

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      Julia Frank

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      Mary Harrison

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      James Gilbert

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      Dineo O'Brien

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  • Jackson D
    Jackson D

    0:49 is that the bridge that the death eaters destroyed in Harry Potter???

  • Daniel Keating
    Daniel Keating

    Does this phase synchronization happen in social signaling behaviors?

  • Xsvrrx Gaming
    Xsvrrx Gaming

    lol gravitational force does it? i just watched the video where gravitational force don't exist

  • Rudy Gizara
    Rudy Gizara

    the internet are the platform to synchronize humanity.

  • Xaver Elgin
    Xaver Elgin

    So why don't we see these facts being applied to modern sustainable infrastructure. That much oscillation could be producing alot of power.

  • Wayne Thomson
    Wayne Thomson

    I was on that bridge! Good one Lads....

  • Leeso nneville
    Leeso nneville

    Nice animations my man

  • Vui Vui
    Vui Vui

    6:07 the feeling of a perfect Legion

  • Vui Vui
    Vui Vui

    Chaos is perfect synchronise. Everything in perfect order of chaos and destruction.

  • Guan Sturmans
    Guan Sturmans

    what if all the people synchornize their steps we can move the earth out of orbit

  • ri ki
    ri ki

    This is so inspiring. Thank you!

  • thepointyend

    This potentially explains cultural trends, views, and hardened beliefs in unsubstantiated facts. People's minds also synchronize with the masses in times of change. I'm the solitary firefly that stays out of sync. It's a curse! lol.

  • djlivewire

    long explanations are awesome, but what i got out of it is. no matter what the elasticity of a surface is, there is still enough influence to determine oscillation based on weight distribution and speed.

  • SnasseDasse

    Seeing all those random people walk in step looks horrifying like something straight out of final destination like this bridge was meant to collapse

  • edward ramize
    edward ramize

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  • DJ Jaxxon
    DJ Jaxxon

    I like the stepping concept in this video as I relate it to DJing and music production because when we are playing two tracks (presuming you're super old school and never ever use the sync features because it's a "sin") in order to line up the tracks you would nudge or step the timing of one to get it on beat and in line with another. And sometimes tracks, when unsynced and not influenced by nudging, seem to naturally lineup in sync for a moment sometimes before falling out of sync but sometimes come back into it. Idk exactly, just something I've noticed when playing around. I like this video and keep up the quality work ^_^

  • Kunal Kumar
    Kunal Kumar

    Use this in that light measuring experiment.

  • Itz_Yash

    This is really interesting, I love this

  • Joel Aguilar
    Joel Aguilar

    I see this all the time in turn signal synchronization when stopped at a light! It's so satisfying when 3 cars sync up

  • Stephen Mauro
    Stephen Mauro

    My daughter and I have done this on her swingset. She does not have to do anything . My swinging propels her too.

  • Parmarth Arora
    Parmarth Arora

    Beautiful , interesting... perfect

  • Jim Delpiter
    Jim Delpiter

    So RGB water is possible

  • Phantom Red
    Phantom Red

    Iv never seen this kind of science, since the show, The Cosmos, it wird I seemed to understand science better in this way

  • vincent wang
    vincent wang

    A wonderful video that gives several inner-related examples. I think sync also exists when one working within a team.

  • Goose Shid
    Goose Shid

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  • some dude
    some dude

    At 17:29 does that become part of the Mandelbrot set??

  • Phillip Price
    Phillip Price

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  • Steve Young
    Steve Young

    Supposedly if with a person long enough in time. Hearts literally could beat as one. Wonder if a heart patient would benefit from a person being next to them for a period of time daily. Just a thought

  • 망히

    Hum~ so deep.


    The animations are just soo good. Thanks a lot!

  • Matthew O'Connor MRE
    Matthew O'Connor MRE


  • Cody Smith
    Cody Smith

    how does the secret of synchronization play into the logistic map in regard to defibrillation?

  • Pandula Gajadeera
    Pandula Gajadeera

    I'm a bit confused. If the universe likes to increase entropy, then why do certain systems tend to synchronize? Doesn't synching cause order instead of disorder?

  • MegaMana * (SpAqMy)
    MegaMana * (SpAqMy)


  • claymore cluepile
    claymore cluepile

    synchronization proves that the second law of thermodynamics is nature there exists many examples of a natural tendency to complexity and higher and higher orders of organization and this spontaneous synchronicity is one example of antichaotic anti-randomness in nature.....another example is DNA and the increasing size, complexity and organization of animal tissues/organs/systems over time....exactly the reverse of what the 2nd law of thermodynamics predicts in natural systems running sdpontaneously

  • Heinrich Müller
    Heinrich Müller

    Stable video 👍

  • J M
    J M

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  • Landon Amick
    Landon Amick

    I’m not a pro at physics at all (still in hs) but could you make a perpetual motion machine by using the energy boost from synchronization to create self sustaining energy for a machine to u know power itself?

  • cortne_deformed

    Ok this Video was SO COOL! Except I'll disagree about the last comment on not understanding the economy. Read Karl Marx and Engels ya'll. they developed a systematic approach of comprehending, explaining and changing social phenomena. Dialectical materialism and thought is scientific tthrough and through. Ofc the immune system is a whole other issue LOL

  • Meadows Plumbing
    Meadows Plumbing

    I really enjoyed how you added your advertisement at the end thank you for that I know we all have to make money the that was great indicate

  • Der Barde
    Der Barde

    Couldn't finish because commercial every 2 minutes

  • Coach

    Anyone else trying to decode the universe by watching if turn signals of cars turning sync up at a traffic light?


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  • peterson093

    It's a custom in hungary to clap that way if you liked the play. You are, in a way, inviting the actors back for a second round. They usually come back, bow again then go behind the curtains.