The Secret of Synchronization

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Genre: Education

Family friendly? Yes

Wilson score: 0.9875

Rating: 4.9518 / 5

Engagement: 4.2174%


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Shared March 31, 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 — https://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., & 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 quality of the videos is amazing

1 month ago | [YT] | 6,249


no joke, this video gave me an idea for my phd ... see you at the nobel prize

2 weeks ago (edited) | [YT] | 746

Ahmad Khilfi

Whenever a lot of people are having a chat to the point where the room was so noisy and then suddenly everyone just stop talking to complete silence is someting that is mesmerising and scares me. It's like they/we unknowingly agree to stop talking at the same time

6 days ago (edited) | [YT] | 79

Saksham Kiroriwal

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!

2 weeks ago | [YT] | 216

Christian Roi Cabel

When your heartbeat synchronized with someone you hug

2 weeks ago | [YT] | 253

A Glimpse Inside

Those metronomes… At one point were kicking the sickest beat

1 month ago | [YT] | 6,733

The Wolf Gaming

Veritasium : "So u naturally expect universe to be MESSI "
Ronaldo fans : Nooo, i expect the universe to be Ronaldo.

1 day ago | [YT] | 2

xX_Champion919_ Xx

This would happen in my school where people would start banging on the lunch tables during lunch in the time of "We Will Rock You" and we would eventually get the entire lunchroom synchronized slamming on the tables doing "We Will Rock You". Good times.

2 weeks ago | [YT] | 243


"In complex systems, chaos is the norm."

Humans: well i guess we're going to make the most complex systems we can for everything!

3 weeks ago | [YT] | 296


The firefly phenomenon reminds me of how people sync their breathing with other people

2 weeks ago | [YT] | 190

Medlife Crisis

I get a notification every time an inaccurate beating heart animation appears in a YouTube video

Edit: swinging bridges this was a fascinating and eclectic vid

1 month ago (edited) | [YT] | 6,182

Robert Edwards

I was a printer and operated a big flat bed machine which moved side to side. Notices were placed around the building saying "These machines must NOT be run in sequence. While bosses were out, apprentices deliberately ran three machines IN sequence. Milk bottles fell off tables and the building started to sway.

3 weeks ago | [YT] | 185


Synchronization even works with Walmart shoppers, when everyone ends up at the check-outs at the same time.

1 week ago | [YT] | 36

Olivier Donais

Those people walking on the bridge look exactly like a crowd walking off a cruise ship after a week at sea, people get used to the waves and walk opposite of them and the habit continues for a few minutes after getting off it's hilarious to see.

1 week ago (edited) | [YT] | 27

Zandor Felok

3:22 - me sitting at a stop light, in the turn lane seeing the two cars in front of me synchronize and then desynchronize their blinkers

1 week ago | [YT] | 5


"I fell asleep in a metronome factory, abd ever since then I've completely lost my rhythym"

1 month ago | [YT] | 882


"that's why we don't understand immune system very well... "
Now that's some sort eye opening, especially theese days

1 day ago (edited) | [YT] | 1


Remember when you were in the school lunch room and everyone happened to finish a sentence at the same time, causing a weird silence?

2 weeks ago | [YT] | 100

kilaru kartheek

In a typical 20min Veritasium video, there is always a 2min period which put a smile on my face and tears in my eyes at the same time.

5 days ago | [YT] | 4

Hansford X

The heart spirals just make me think if Uzamaki now. I’m imagining the visual of someone tearing out their own heart with their bare hands just to get at the invisible spiral.

6 days ago | [YT] | 3