Get smart curated videos delivered to your inbox.   SUBSCRIBE
The Kid Should See This

Physics! 32 out-of-sync metronomes synchronize

Watch more with these video collections:

A physics demonstration from the Ikeguchi Laboratory in Japan:

Exactly 32 metronomes unite in synchronous play with no help from human hands. And there’s simple physics at the heart of it. 

When the arm of any metronome hits the side, it exerts a force on the blue platform. Normally friction would make that unnoticeable. But this platform is special. It’s set up on rollers so that it can move from side to side.

When any two metronome arms hit, their forces on the platform either cancel out or add together, depending on how out of or in sync they are. Any arms that are out of sync will experience a force in the opposite direction that inches them closer to the pack. 

Eventually all 32 arms find the same rhythm and sync up. This is the most I’ve ever seen at once. (That’s a challenge, by the way. Get on it.)

From It’s Okay to Be Smart.

This Webby award-winning video collection exists to help teachers, librarians, and families spark kid wonder and curiosity. TKSST features smarter, more meaningful content than what's usually served up by YouTube's algorithms, and amplifies the creators who make that content.

Curated, kid-friendly, independently-published. Support this mission by becoming a sustaining member today.

🌈 Watch these videos next...

Spontaneous Synchronization, a UCLA physics demonstration

Rion Nakaya

Pendulum Snake DIY, a Build Your Own Exploratorium demo

Rion Nakaya

Chaotic Pendulum, a DIY physics demonstration

Rion Nakaya

Aluminum foil floating on Sulfur Hexafluoride gas

Rion Nakaya

A pendulum wave with 15 billiard balls

Rion Nakaya

Angular momentum demo with a Hoberman Sphere

Rion Nakaya

The Golden Rain Experiment: Turning lead into ‘gold’ lead

Rion Nakaya

Shaolin Kung Fu training as seen from high above Earth

Rion Nakaya

Thermal expansion sphere and ring demonstrations

Rion Nakaya