The Secret of Synchronization

Birt 31 mar 2021
Áhorf 6 337 219

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

  • Sergio B. Meza C.

    Sergio B. Meza C.

    3 klukkustundum síðan

    Very, very interesting.
    In the video, people looks like penguins walking...

  • FirstName LastName

    FirstName LastName

    4 klukkustundum síðan

    Does the fact that planets circle around their sun more or less in same plane also have a synchronization explanation? Also, I would perhaps think this plane is more or less perpendicular to the rotation axis of the sun ...

  • Soul


    4 klukkustundum síðan

    I know how every polyrhythm eventually syncs up on one beat even with vastly different rhythms like 34:83 or 12:95, a similar principle here.

  • Shamus Beaglehole

    Shamus Beaglehole

    5 klukkustundum síðan

    Every prostitute should be forced to watch this video every day around 4pm.

  • Shamus Beaglehole

    Shamus Beaglehole

    5 klukkustundum síðan

    All people are horses.

  • LUCIFER FPS - Fury

    LUCIFER FPS - Fury

    5 klukkustundum síðan

    I saw this Nike red video. That dude does some crazy chemical experiments

  • watching Kung Fu Panda 2

    watching Kung Fu Panda 2

    5 klukkustundum síðan

    12:29 What instrument is that ?

  • Memespeech


    6 klukkustundum síðan

    disorder and chaos are subjective terms

  • Joseph Ololade

    Joseph Ololade

    6 klukkustundum síðan

    An intelligent designer made the universe Yahweh is his name

  • Lenard


    7 klukkustundum síðan

    9:53 synchronised clapping after chaos clapping is a cultural thing in Hungary, it may be due to what you said, but people do it consciously as it means ‘again’—for the performers to come out and bow etc

  • Haͥppͣyͫ UK ๖ۣۜƤaͥτrͣiͫoτ

    Haͥppͣyͫ UK ๖ۣۜƤaͥτrͣiͫoτ

    7 klukkustundum síðan

    The law of entropy is not really about order in the sense of organisation and synchronicity.
    It's actually more about one very fundamental concept.
    For any process, the amount of energy available for work is diminished.
    As long as there is a difference of energy levels, there is a potential for a flow of energy and therefore a potential for work to be done.
    If all the energy in the universe was evenly distributed, things would be very orderly and synchronised, but the universe would be stone cold dead.

  • Rajesh Roger

    Rajesh Roger

    7 klukkustundum síðan

    scapegoat central, no need for sorries or thank you. I don't care

  • Pranshu Aggarwal

    Pranshu Aggarwal

    8 klukkustundum síðan

    What was the last bit "How can you figure out properties of the whole given the properties of parts?"

  • yaogog


    9 klukkustundum síðan

    best friend women can synchronise their periods

  • Abner Jr. Paredes

    Abner Jr. Paredes

    10 klukkustundum síðan

    Quality content.. Love it

  • Mario Velez

    Mario Velez

    10 klukkustundum síðan

    This has to be one of my favorite videos ever on YouTube

  • E B

    E B

    11 klukkustundum síðan

    The millennium bridge wasn't swaying because the people were walking in step, the people were walking in step in response to the lateral sway of the bridge. Their walking in step then caused it to sway ever more.

    • Captain Aryán

      Captain Aryán

      9 klukkustundum síðan

      Then how were they supposed to 'walk' ?

  • Subhranil Majumder

    Subhranil Majumder

    12 klukkustundum síðan

    @Prof. Steven Strogatz and @Veritasium,
    I believe the reason why it is hard to figure out the properties of whole given the properties of parts is because, of the level of mental activity human mind can reach in normal state. Due to the limited amount of energy our body can process, it becomes very hard to understand the bigger picture, which is relative in different people's case.

  • Tory Slusher

    Tory Slusher

    12 klukkustundum síðan

    Coupled oscillation via vibrational transference, got it.

  • NEWS


    13 klukkustundum síðan

    Well I am not auto synchronised to my missus, maybe I am a freak of nature?

  • Paradox G

    Paradox G

    13 klukkustundum síðan

    Chaos and Order are not different to Nature.... They are 2 sides of the same coin.

  • Adrian Epic

    Adrian Epic

    13 klukkustundum síðan

    Finally, something to adequately explain Aphex Twin's video, windowlicker.
    Thank you for your service, good sir.

  • Laksyians sTuDy TiMeS

    Laksyians sTuDy TiMeS

    13 klukkustundum síðan

    Actually at all you challenge the physics.

  • Kelley McBride

    Kelley McBride

    13 klukkustundum síðan

    Super cool video thanks!

  • libertyn jeopardy

    libertyn jeopardy

    14 klukkustundum síðan

    Obviously there is a God, unfortunately this fact is not obvious to many. Giving credit to "Nature" is naive and illogical.



    14 klukkustundum síðan

    This can apply to all life, I’ll give you an example I was at a concert and somebody started a fight and somebody else in the crowd got angry and they started a fight, at the end of the concert it turned into a riot and everyone was starting to fight.
    This theory applies to everyone and that GOD is real, And synchronization is the key to the multi-verse.

  • Bellhop Walrus

    Bellhop Walrus

    14 klukkustundum síðan

    I notice this happening in a line of cars, with their turn signals on. They'll sync up for a while, then go out of phase again, creating interesting rhyrmic patterns.
    I am very easily entertained.

  • Muhammed Shahbaz Sadiq

    Muhammed Shahbaz Sadiq

    15 klukkustundum síðan

    Very informative

  • miles andress

    miles andress

    15 klukkustundum síðan

    Hey..babies in the nursery cry and dogs in a kennel bark out of sync...

  • miles andress

    miles andress

    16 klukkustundum síðan

    So...if one clock out of would anyone know the correct time?
    He should have had a third clock as a tie breaker..or..better yet..a fourth clock for confirmation🤣

  • Carlo S

    Carlo S

    16 klukkustundum síðan

    Your opinion on nature being chaotic and disordered is a subjective point of view. These smaller chaotic occurrences are part of a bigger order.

  • Leslie Henderson

    Leslie Henderson

    16 klukkustundum síðan

    This is interesting, because when a group of women get together, like in a roommate kinda situation, then tend to get their periods at the same time!

  • Scott


    17 klukkustundum síðan

    So everything has a frequency including us humans. Everything living and inanimate is effected by frequency, however living things have a higher frequency than inanimate objects, and some humans have a higher frequency than others.

  • iBoolGuy


    18 klukkustundum síðan

    that was 20 minutes.....? i thought it was 6 yo

  • M Al

    M Al

    18 klukkustundum síðan

    Gravity 👈 morons🤓

  • NO


    18 klukkustundum síðan

    1 Hz seems worse than 2 Hz would be, but maybe I'm just not a civil engineer

  • iBoolGuy


    18 klukkustundum síðan

    “Entropy is the natural order of the universe.”

  • Grim Grinn

    Grim Grinn

    18 klukkustundum síðan

    The man at the end sounded like David Bohm :)

  • WJ Stulp

    WJ Stulp

    18 klukkustundum síðan

    yet another reason to realize God controls the entire universe.

  • As2000 the stop motioner

    As2000 the stop motioner

    21 klukkustund síðan

    Its same with my walk i literally Almost always walk the same speed in steps as the person Im walking with

  • Eric Singley

    Eric Singley

    21 klukkustund síðan

    Even more interesting is the oscillation in American politics...

  • VenB


    22 klukkustundum síðan

    Hehe penguins

  • David Perkins

    David Perkins

    22 klukkustundum síðan

    Many years ago myth busters used a linear actuator on an old disused bridge, the movement was maybe 4 to 6 inches but after a while the resonance created a measurable sway within the bridge.

  • Guilherme Santana

    Guilherme Santana

    22 klukkustundum síðan

    It was great to learn more about synchronization. It really helped me strengthening up my faith a little bit more. It reminded me of a God that puts order in chaos as Genesis 1-2 shows us. A God who holds all the wisdom and the secrets of cosmos (Job 38). A God who loves me and you with sacrificial love (John 3:16) and who will eventually put everything in place again (Revelation 22)

  • Muhammad Omer

    Muhammad Omer

    22 klukkustundum síðan

    maybe fireflies were celebrating saying hip hip hurraaaaaaaaayyy

  • Dub Dado

    Dub Dado

    22 klukkustundum síðan


  • Kenneth


    22 klukkustundum síðan

    This is very interesting. Great video. But does this also applies to lights? What if we had blinking multiple blinking lights? Does this apply too?

  • Art Mezins

    Art Mezins

    22 klukkustundum síðan

    Two pedantic notes from a retired electrical engineer:
    [1] The bridge sync is like any system that has a resonance (and there may be more than one resonant frequency in a system). Electrical engineers routines apply "white noise" (randomness) to a resonant system to determine its resonant frequency(s).
    [2] When two timing sources are "close" in frequency, then something called a "beat" frequency results from the difference between the two frequencies. For example, if one is 0.1% different from the other (i.e. "close"), then there should be one "beat" every 1000 cycles. If 0.01% apart, then 10000, etc. Now if that frequency is from something slow, like a metronome or pendulum, say 1/sec, then you would have to wait 10000 sec (about 2.8 hours) before they sync, but only "momentarily", before they start to drift away. Then there's the "anti-beat" when they're motions are synced oppositely, at half the time, but repeats at the same frequency of once/2.8 hr. Now that also assumes that these are perfect timing systems with no animalities to throw a stick into the spokes, otherwise, more chaos ensues. Now multiply that to say 50 metronomes. The math gets more sticky, like the complexities of the 2-body vs. 3-body (or more) celestial orbital equations. But then computers were made to simulate is stuff so we humans can stay (mostly) sane.
    And this shouldn't detract from any enjoyment of the simplicity of the world around us, just know that it's there and the engineers (mostly) know how to address any issues that come along (albeit, after the fact sometimes).

  • Mujahid Faruq

    Mujahid Faruq

    23 klukkustundum síðan

    I appreciate over exaggerated examples, thank you

  • David Milhous Carter

    David Milhous Carter

    23 klukkustundum síðan

    14:12 Golden Ratio.

  • amine mk

    amine mk

    23 klukkustundum síðan

    This universe and this life is not random, but meticulously designed by a higher thinker.

  • Its Mango

    Its Mango

    23 klukkustundum síðan

    "They aren't part of an army"
    That's what you think

  • Dolzinfant


    Degi Síðan síðan

    17:24 shouldn't it say swayed instead of suede in the subtitles? Fabulous video all the same...

  • Will Pablo Brazão Barletta

    Will Pablo Brazão Barletta

    Degi Síðan síðan

    The unstable base is the answer.

  • Mahir Balushi

    Mahir Balushi

    Degi Síðan síðan

    Thanks 👍

  • 46raulfull


    Degi Síðan síðan

    Wait is this why women living together get their periods around the same time?

  • Wilmer Urbina

    Wilmer Urbina

    Degi Síðan síðan

    All this is common sense

  • Salomea Brt

    Salomea Brt

    Degi Síðan síðan

    Is there a formula as to when does the sync happen? At least for something simple, like metronomes? Ah, this is some exciting stuff.

  • Adam Stock

    Adam Stock

    Degi Síðan síðan

    woop nilered

  • Abinash Pal

    Abinash Pal

    Degi Síðan síðan

    The big picture.

  • Ricardo Cortez Calderon

    Ricardo Cortez Calderon

    Degi Síðan síðan

    Esto significa que nosotros volveremos al sol?
    (Se volvera a juntar la tierra con el sol xd incluidos otros planetas del sistema)

  • Arda Ehi Ehi

    Arda Ehi Ehi

    Degi Síðan síðan


  • Felicia Moniq

    Felicia Moniq

    Degi Síðan síðan

    Hmm. There must be a God somewhere?

  • Jazeen Haral

    Jazeen Haral

    Degi Síðan síðan

    I always wondered why clapping would line up like that!! Omg.
    When I used to sit in chapel in high school (private Christian school) we would always end up clapping in sync. I would hear this and intentionally change my clapping, lol.
    I never knew this was almost a rule of nature

  • 360 Nature Relaxation

    360 Nature Relaxation

    Degi Síðan síðan


  • S. Garcia

    S. Garcia

    Degi Síðan síðan

    OK Now, -- Now that my friends is how you start a morning with your cup,of tea!! - Had more of my school-age and muddle adult pedestrian observations answered in 5-minutes than any other source -ever. Yep, gonna be a good many days after this, probably decades and lifetime what's remainning after this one. . .thanks..*

  • Gods Squad

    Gods Squad

    Degi Síðan síðan

    God is amazing

  • Gods Squad

    Gods Squad

    Degi Síðan síðan

    Lightening bugs not fire flies

  • Abdel Rahman Khalil

    Abdel Rahman Khalil

    Degi Síðan síðan

    That is absolutely MIND BOGGLING سبحان الله

  • Tristam Stone

    Tristam Stone

    Degi Síðan síðan

    Veritasium, can we please agree there is no experimental proof for entropy. If entropy is proven wrong over and over experimentally, if planets form from stars and organic life cycles thru life and death, exchanging disordered matter to then reorder. If we can consume elements like minerals and via enzymes convert them in to living cells then entropy is NOT REAL. Just the same as medicine, dogma exists. Entropy I hear over and over to explain time flowing in one direction... you don't need entropy!

  • KReGaDeTH


    Degi Síðan síðan

    21 minutes to explain this? You should be ashamed.

  • Thule Gezelschap

    Thule Gezelschap

    Degi Síðan síðan

    In Rotterdam a big bridge nearly collapsed when there was a dance parade and people where all jumping at the same time

  • Livealkit


    Degi Síðan síðan

    12th standard education i guess

  • Dominic Barden

    Dominic Barden

    Degi Síðan síðan

    Quality video!

  • Heyoka Empath

    Heyoka Empath

    Degi Síðan síðan

    Human was a Metronom too.

  • Jorge Brown

    Jorge Brown

    Degi Síðan síðan

    Reality is more fascinating than any theory. The magic attributed to the unanimated world is like a veil that prevents people to see its actual reality.And sometimes people becomes frustrated and even irritated when it is explained in simpler terms. The best example I know about it is when the great English poet Milton said Newton had removed the magic of the rainbow after Newton’s explanation of light.

  • Nachiketh. D

    Nachiketh. D

    Degi Síðan síðan

    0:28 . GOD

  • foe slow

    foe slow

    Degi Síðan síðan

    7:30 you can do better than that

  • koyuncusonay


    Degi Síðan síðan


  • Paul Binski

    Paul Binski

    Degi Síðan síðan

    So we could eliminate traffic jams by using wobbly roads?
    I'm pretty sure those traffic jams are the only event ignoring the laws of physics.

  • Freedom Of speech

    Freedom Of speech

    Degi Síðan síðan


  • Petros_TheBot


    Degi Síðan síðan

    So youre telling me that there will be a point of time that the entire people on earth will say the same thing or walk or jump the same?

  • Marbles


    Degi Síðan síðan

    6:06 I can't be the only one seeing an army of marching swordsmen?

  • Marbles


    Degi Síðan síðan

    I'm surprised Huygens didn't intuit and anticipate or at least immediately understand the cause of this effect. Had he never seen how pendulums in different forms synchronize on a ship, or in a carriage, or even when you are just out walking and things hang off of you? Why would pendulums hanging from clocks be any different?
    Maybe I'm a physics savant, who just never studied physics. Or maybe Huygens had an off day at work :P
    Edit: Seriously, how do people not immediately just see how this works? What causes the effect? I am starting to think I've wasted my youth in the wrong career.
    No need for fancy explanations. The more a pendulum moves on an angle to gravity, the more it pulls whatever it is tethered to out of place. Simple so far, right? One could delve into it, but I think most who have used a swing can intuit it. When a swing is at the top, it can pull the whole swing frame out of place. Okay... So when a swing is at the top, it transfers energy to the frame it is tethered to. The frame then shifts perpendicularly to the ground. The shifting frame will transfer energy to other pendulums attached to it. The more parallelly to the ground a pendulum is moving, the more of the energy that the beam transfers to it results in movement because the frame is moving completely parallelly to the ground. If the pendulum is moving at 45 degrees to the ground, half of the energy transferred to it will be directed towards the ground, and just result in friction. The other half will result in movement along the axis that the pendulum is moving.
    The frame transfers energy from pendulums moving perpendicularly to the ground to pendulums moving parallelly to the ground. The more perpendicular and parallel the motions are, the greater the effect. So energy is transferred until the pendulums are in sync.
    The pendulums don't even have to be influencing the frame they are attached to to sync up. It is enough that the frame is moving fairly rhythmically, like from wind or waves. Pretty sure that is by far the biggest factor for pendulums on ships, for instance.
    Huygens, you n00b.

  • id


    Degi Síðan síðan

    And it relys on the fact they all are the same. If one was bigger or smaller it wouldn't work. There is a lesson here.

  • M T

    M T

    Degi Síðan síðan

    When you look att the the turn signal on two different cars when they have stopped due to a traffic light. These turn signals will also synchronise. How come?

  • Marcello Marcellini

    Marcello Marcellini

    Degi Síðan síðan

    That's not Huygens, that's Dave Mustaine.

  • Lawrence White

    Lawrence White

    Degi Síðan síðan

    I see turn signal lights on cars Synchronize randomly

  • Pantou Fos

    Pantou Fos

    Degi Síðan síðan

    The whole University has synchronicity. It has to do with the Rythm of The Spirit we are living in.

  • PancakePower_FTW


    Degi Síðan síðan

    LMAO THIS WAS ON A STATE TEST! Thank you for making educational, yet interesting content! Pretty sure they used the same sources you did.

  • Hello Giddy

    Hello Giddy

    Degi Síðan síðan

    Nothing beats the ancient civilizations' innovation which last thousand years

  • salamanca1954


    Degi Síðan síðan

    Firefly populations in different locations around Tennessee, if memory serves, light up in waves.

  • Pola & Tiger

    Pola & Tiger

    Degi Síðan síðan

    The 2 clocks synchronize because it's love!

  • BoredJustChillin


    Degi Síðan síðan

    The videos are so satisfying to watch

  • KC Poe

    KC Poe

    Degi Síðan síðan

    We don’t really have to go back 350 years.

  • salamanca1954


    Degi Síðan síðan

    Humans. Don't get me started. As the herd of we primates fell into step, a perfectly reasonable way to move in a dense crowd -- Hello, army! -- they set up a dangerous resonance in the bridge structure, something the engineers had not anticipated. They should have studied human herds, amd the military, before drawing up the structure. During the American Civil War, and I imagine in all the wars of humanity whenever a pontoon bridge was laid over a body of water, the troops were instructed to break route step, and just shamble randomly over, like any crowd in a street. Resonance has long been noted for its destructive properties, (see earthquakes, wind and Galloping Gerty, the Tacoma Narrows Bridge failure) but I think, forgotten for its positive properties, both physical and mental. And for anyone who reads this and gets a redass about it, we are all primates, the alleged greatest of the great apes. Sometimes we act like that ... sometimes not so much. We contain both.

  • Simon Hernandez

    Simon Hernandez

    Degi Síðan síðan

    To answer 19:30; Almighty God's Word!

  • Vaporizers101


    Degi Síðan síðan

    I am a scientists and this blows me away

  • DeRien8


    Degi Síðan síðan

    So this is how we solve the "measuring unidirectional speed of light" problem? We use this principle to synchronize the clocks of the detectors