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 -
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

  • Aashish Sharma
    Aashish Sharma

    "...the sort of crystallization in time is what we call synchronization". Love it!

  • Jones Joy Panicker
    Jones Joy Panicker

    I am not a fan of Veritasium, but this video is gold.

  • ThankYouESM

    Looks like a way to very much amplify electrical power from a very small amount if pitched as the right time... maybe like playing paddle ball.

  • ThankYouESM

    I feel like this could become the non-intrusive way to reverse cancer as a vibrational frequency or from a tiny enough electrical pulsation... just like the cells each by molecular structure somewhat have their own IP address. The key might be to record such a frequency from the top 5000 healthiest people, maybe determined through their athletic performances.


    When your car’s signal lights synced to another...

  • Willy Walter
    Willy Walter

    Best commercial in the end I‘ve seen so far! Your kids will get into science 🧪 😍👍🏻

  • Max Loh
    Max Loh

    Why did 0:25 give me a sudden urge to play Skyrim I wonder if it's the exact same heartbeat sound loop as Skyrim (there are 3 beats and they are not identical), or heartbeats just sound too similar and I'm hearing things

  • quack420

    Hmmm... if two metronomes are perfectly opposiite in sync.. wouldn't that be an equilibrium? Also... if a 3rd metronome was added that was perfectly between sync of the other two (not sure if this would be possible maybe 2, 3 or 4 would be needed, I haven't given it enough thought and don't have the time right now I have an exam tmw) if perfectly in between the others, wouldn't it or thm stay perfectly in sync due to balance... if it's balanced I don't understand why one would choose to move independently without the same happening to the others and constantly staying out of sync.. but out of sync in such a way that they're equally spaced in timing.. ?

  • peter g
    peter g

    there's nothing spontaneous about the metronomes on the soda cans; they act on each other. this is irresponsible at best. disgraceful.

  • vJacks stacks
    vJacks stacks

    Professor sounds like he's rationalizing something he doesn't understand.

  • Mellow

    How to understand properties of the whole by understanding the properties of the parts??. I guess simulations. But simulating walking of 167 people would take incredible computers. So more simulations to try out after done with designing. Wait it means making better graphic cards which would mean having better games. Ig. Lol

  • Samuel Dungjen
    Samuel Dungjen

    11:47 looks like spaceflight simulator

  • Craig Ostertag
    Craig Ostertag

    Well, I’m still not sure if that explains why I’ve noticed car windshield wipers sync spontaneously.

  • Raja sheker pokala
    Raja sheker pokala

    Does heartbeats synchronise when people are in groups?

  • Daniel Oliveira
    Daniel Oliveira

    Great explanation!

  • Joe Congo
    Joe Congo

    with those coloured metronomes, the middle yellow row, 6th one down isnt in sync.

  • Bluemeannie

    As a kid I always noticed sitting in the car that the indicator lights would just suddenly synchronise with all the other cars, now I know

  • gyokszi

    I'm not sure how people in other countries clap but in Hungary in theatres it is a tradition to syncronise the claps after a period of chaos. Therefore I'm not surprised that a clip from the Hungarian capital, Budapest has been found for this demonstration. The lenght of the chaotic clapping depends on how good the play was. After that period, people begin to think "OK, this play doesnt deserve a longer chaotic part, lets change to the another frequency" and began to clap on that also traditional frequency. People then consciously syncronising to people seating nearby already clapping like that. Nobody directs that but it is also not accidental, we await the syncronisation part. We work similar to those lighting bugs actually :).

  • Olivier Donais
    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.

  • atharva singh
    atharva singh


  • hormiga atomica
    hormiga atomica


  • Rajendra Acharya
    Rajendra Acharya

    why don't you do that in speed of light video

  • brt 1759
    brt 1759

    I thought it was the matrix.🤔

  • dy

    12:41 When the water has RGB 😳

  • viola0livido

    I don't understand why this happen...

  • saviour175

    Thats why Darwin is dumb

  • Peinture Couleur de la vie
    Peinture Couleur de la vie

    La spirale originelle

  • Thirdy Abella
    Thirdy Abella

    3, 2, 1, JUMP Syncronization

  • Weill

    Imagine seeing your moon fighting to escape the earths gravity

  • Albert van Zyl
    Albert van Zyl

    love this new style of videos!!

  • Slumbr Tracks
    Slumbr Tracks

    What about objects that synchronize even though they aren't coupled? i.e. Peoples car blinkers synchronizing at a stop light. Or is that different since in that case it synchronizes only for a moment then goes back to being out of synch? This is probably answered in the video ill keep watching lol.

  • Hazy.GG

    20:09 What a very special moment! Your facial expression and body language change completely when it registers in your mind that your firstborn child is in the midst of explaining his first experiment. That was very cool to see.

  • dcoog anml
    dcoog anml

    Murmuration has the same action towards the other birds when flying together, their result is breathtaking...

  • tyler manning
    tyler manning

    How accurate is the synchronization. Could you synchronize clocks this way to give accurate measurements at a distance from one another?

  • Cu Ts
    Cu Ts

    4:57 Never gonna give you up

  • Dyoto Orion
    Dyoto Orion

    Fascinating stuff. Cheers! :-)

  • Jack Kallahari
    Jack Kallahari

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

  • Victor Lopes
    Victor Lopes

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

  • Krzysztof

    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?

  • SuckSome Bhai
    SuckSome Bhai

    who all came here from flying beast's video

  • xzavaire1

    I didn’t know the latitude and longitude thing.

  • Aaron Bones
    Aaron Bones

    This video bridges science and philosophy

  • Roger Gailland
    Roger Gailland

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

  • CreeperBoomMc's Datapacks
    CreeperBoomMc's Datapacks

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

  • david siegel
    david siegel

    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.

  • Mousie

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

  • Екатерина Д.
    Екатерина Д.

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

  • Rushibmehta

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


    Who else gain knowledge !!!

  • Andreas Hammarfalk
    Andreas Hammarfalk

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

  • TimeDock

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

  • Rick Jones
    Rick Jones


  • 3daygoaty

    What happens between two double pendulums?

  • Brian Cox
    Brian Cox

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

  • Tim Davis
    Tim Davis

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

  • Jolly Goodbeard
    Jolly Goodbeard

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

  • Ric Powers
    Ric Powers

    Awesome analogy by the professor. The pendulum are friends.

  • yasio bolo
    yasio bolo

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

  • Johann Petersen
    Johann Petersen

    Conclusion God is Genius

  • Robby Clark
    Robby Clark 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.

  • Wertibus


  • 1

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

  • Major Monogram
    Major Monogram

    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.

  • Saksham Kiroriwal
    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!

    • dcoog anml
      dcoog anml

      Nobody: Scientists: hold my RGB water

  • Calebe Teles
    Calebe Teles

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

  • Jorge Lausell
    Jorge Lausell

    I'm a synergist. I get this.

  • Thomas Tona
    Thomas Tona

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

  • Jameezy Breezy
    Jameezy Breezy

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

  • 1992pv

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

  • Joey Mormann
    Joey Mormann

    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.

  • missmanimeow

    Here after watching Flying Beast vlog

  • Robert Moore
    Robert Moore

    1:12 so what went wrong? Death eaters mate

  • Mayank Arora
    Mayank Arora

    synched my blinkers with other cars to this.

  • Marathon Man
    Marathon Man

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

  • theBearJewel

    0:30 uh, the Word of God.

  • milad ghazi
    milad ghazi

    7:30 On your left.

  • Veritas et Aequitas
    Veritas et Aequitas

    "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.

  • Mani Man-Human
    Mani Man-Human

    Mythbusters did this very experiment with a bunch of metronomes.

  • Ethan Mari Lanete
    Ethan Mari Lanete

    My head is broken ._.

  • Scott Adams
    Scott Adams

    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.

  • RC-1290

    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.

  • himselfe

  • Stephen Stratford
    Stephen Stratford

    Refreshing to see something of such quality and interest

  • Keen Eye
    Keen Eye

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

  • Phoenix Hokage
    Phoenix Hokage

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

  • Tejas

    Kuramoto Model: ON YOUR LEFT

  • mst 4891
    mst 4891

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


    15:01 WTF

  • Sydtastic L
    Sydtastic L

    Majority Rules

  • Cheepchipsable

    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.

  • Cosmology Hub
    Cosmology Hub


  • Muhamet Ukperaj
    Muhamet Ukperaj

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

  • Iesach Arroz
    Iesach Arroz

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

  • Karma

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

  • Jim Crutchfield
    Jim Crutchfield

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

  • ItsUhMe Ibraheem
    ItsUhMe Ibraheem

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

  • Weekend Fisherman
    Weekend Fisherman

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

  • Josh Turner
    Josh Turner

    This made me miss VSAUSE

  • Sher Khan
    Sher Khan

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