The Secret of Synchronization

31 Mar 2021
6 927 718 Shikime

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
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

  • 15:01 me this whole time

    Edison LomibaoEdison Lomibao6 orë më parë
  • This video is like showing something beautiful and surreal. It's something which happens right in front of us but still feels like magic or something higher connecting us all.

    DivyajyotiDivyajyoti13 orë më parë
  • 10:00 they knew what they were doing

    pooper dooperpooper dooper15 orë më parë
  • Whoa! I put off watching this until I was still, and yet... It is so good, but I paused it many times to digest what it is saying.

    Miramar GustofsonMiramar Gustofson20 orë më parë
  • Wow, I love how this principle explains Moon lock

    Alex SoulAlex SoulDitë më parë
  • Today I saw two turn signals sync up and I thought it was the coolest thing

    Lockheed F-35B Lightning IILockheed F-35B Lightning IIDitë më parë
  • "Chaos is the norm." *Jevil liked that. UEE HEE HEE!*

    coolroy_25coolroy_25Ditë më parë
  • growing up I had a lot of guitars and I always loved playing the right note on one guitar that would make every guitar in my room start playing.

    Matthew PalominoMatthew PalominoDitë më parë
  • Fascinating , I used to enjoy shifting without a clutch in my 59 Chevy Apache. Later in life finding the syncro in life itself.

    Mark BMark BDitë më parë
  • 1:50 zombies that's why.

    Adam HessenflowAdam HessenflowDitë më parë
  • The late hope adversely double because mice basically whip without a lethal lily. abiding, silly message

    Henny YangHenny YangDitë më parë
  • Every time I go to a concert I go y a higher point to see the people… is funny how they oscillate and when somebody pushes how the wave spreads on the particles

    D SolisD SolisDitë më parë
  • Watchin 2160p

    Michael ThomasMichael ThomasDitë më parë
  • On the bridge, they should've all squeezed in the middle and walked sideways. Problem solved.

    CJ CheiferCJ CheiferDitë më parë
  • The movement of those animated pendulums is very annoying. Not natural at all.

    dopiaza2006dopiaza2006Ditë më parë
  • Amazing video, extremely good presentation of very complex subject.Thanks

    nicos goulielmosnicos goulielmosDitë më parë
  • Pendulum best deck

    i love waflzi love waflz2 ditë më parë
  • Ooooh that's where the Nilered profile picture came from

    Nicool ManNicool Man2 ditë më parë
  • The music playing with Jupiter's orbits by way of polymeter as a subtle bed over the explanation was just brilliant

    Justin DavisJustin Davis2 ditë më parë
  • The an,,swer, to your question is consiousness

    Kurt CunninghamKurt Cunningham2 ditë më parë
  • I always love to control the synchronization of a group of people clapping, it’s not very hard to trigger it (maybe with the help of a friend or two) and to break it.

    Didier LoiseauDidier Loiseau2 ditë më parë
  • Somebody has read a certain mathematician's book ;-)

    KolvorokKolvorok2 ditë më parë
  • Another amazing jaw dropping video.

    Sira VistaSira Vista2 ditë më parë
  • I'm a Graphic Designer. I have no relation with this knowledge. But it is very interesting. I subscribed. Keep it up.

    fvirkfvirk3 ditë më parë
  • Wait.. is Ve atomocal number... 42.0?? Omg

    jacob yeagerjacob yeager3 ditë më parë
  • Wouldn’t the fire fly analogy be better suited towards the law of large numbers?

    Louis MarkosianLouis Markosian3 ditë më parë
  • This was your best video so far ....

    Rob P.Rob P.3 ditë më parë
  • is this why female minstrel cycles sync?

    3ric Car3ric Car3 ditë më parë
  • hummm Can we have synchronization in ultrasonic waves? If we have 4 sensors in the car, will the waves synchronize and be a source of error?

    Carlos SilvaCarlos Silva3 ditë më parë
  • Why do Veritassium has a mass number equals 42.0 and Atomic Number equals i?

    Nilson G SilvaNilson G Silva3 ditë më parë
  • 20:26 You are a great father

    Ilgar RoshenIlgar Roshen3 ditë më parë
  • nile red

    Piper MahonPiper Mahon3 ditë më parë
  • 46 and 2 is a song about synchronization

    eyewazeareyewazear3 ditë më parë
  • 3:33 this is very disturbing looking

    Tanner WTanner W4 ditë më parë
  • spiral out keep going spiral out keep going spiral out keep going spiral out keep going

    Devin GrbaDevin Grba4 ditë më parë
  • Is not even Synchronizing, because Synchronization is one will remain constant and the other will adjust to it. From what i see, All things are trying to adjust to each other and it is called neutralization. But i cant deny the video it self was Amazing. Beware of Vertical Paradox.

    Kataka Zikato TekikaziKataka Zikato Tekikazi4 ditë më parë
  • It takes a dutchman to figure things

    Foster HellendoornFoster Hellendoorn4 ditë më parë
  • what's the song at 15:30 ?

    Berserk 007Berserk 0074 ditë më parë
  • The fireflies flash together in Tennessee in the Great Smokey Mountains National Park. I took my daughter to see them about 17 years ago. Awesome. ❤️

    Zizi RobertsZizi Roberts4 ditë më parë
  • ok. i was also hoping for more philosophical and human and metaphysical side of synchronization....the feeling of "everything falling in place"....thats synchronization too and much more important to be analyzed than for the inanimate one which is easy.

    hiPsDonLiEhiPsDonLiE4 ditë më parë
  • Yes this is definitely more important than homework.

    SwitzelSwitzel5 ditë më parë
  • How did anyone think putting a foot down as was half step. Just because the cycle was half through doesn't mean the imparted energy was only forwards or backwards or in one way. It makes me wonder how much science needs retrospective peer review... But i shouldn't be surprised of course, because until things break who would pay for the research. The potential volume and magnitude of errors in thinking and subtle misunderstandings lurking beneath what most put their faith in without question - documented scientific discovery - is truly sobering.

    tttm99tttm995 ditë më parë
  • It looks like scientists need more dialectical materialism to understand the totality better.

    Горькие УсыГорькие Усы5 ditë më parë
  • How does this affect us humans ? like..our brains...the collective conscious ?

    Blu BerryBlu Berry5 ditë më parë
  • So what's the secret of synchronization?

    Ипполит МатвеевичИпполит Матвеевич5 ditë më parë
  • how precise is 2 pendulum clock Synchronization ? do they sync up perfectly ?

    BafelmaukBafelmauk5 ditë më parë
  • I hate the frog LYAGULYALYULIN its impossible

    Вадим Владимирович ТимофеевВадим Владимирович Тимофеев5 ditë më parë
  • It is the way God made it. Nature doesnt use anything it is all God.

    Troy Ward JrTroy Ward Jr5 ditë më parë
  • nile red and veritasium are just amazing youtubers

    Cool LegendCool Legend5 ditë më parë
  • Strong evidence for a universal creator. Clearly an intelligent design.

    Rojar JonezRojar Jonez6 ditë më parë
  • Some guy named Joshua in history did this and took down the grand city walls of Jericho. Just walking, huh?

    Darrell BorderDarrell Border6 ditë më parë
  • This video makes perfect scence if you are into non duality and spirituality or even if you just understand and approve of it. Everything is one and at the end everything balances out, there is chaos and there is balance, they both work together to give us perfect harmony. Great vid 👍

    I HaveNoGunGameI HaveNoGunGame6 ditë më parë
  • 19:20 was that a cut???

    Tacotoots12Tacotoots127 ditë më parë
  • Who the hell give dislike to such a gread video? Anything wrong with it?

    bmq34bmq347 ditë më parë
  • Hi. This night I was at a concert, and at the end it dawned upon me that the applause didnt synchronize the same way it usually does, unlike shown at around 10:00. Due to covid-19 we, as individuals, havent been attending consert etc. And we were sitting with distance. I wonder if it could have a connection?

    Simon Mølgaard HansenSimon Mølgaard Hansen7 ditë më parë
  • I love the guest guy, he was so enthusiastic!

    Kian FKian F7 ditë më parë
  • The young son of a friend of mine who had a heart transplant at 17 now at 19 his heart failed. He is alive and getting better at LA children hospital. But from your minute 14 it is quite amazing to visually see the electric representation of a heart failure. His dad told me about heart electrical specialist working on him or with him. I did send him this utmost pertinent link. Thank you!

    vicarioustubevicarioustube7 ditë më parë
  • great vid but isnt the moon pulling itself further from earth? meaning its not completely in sync with the earth? with the right equipment and the panels that the astronauts put on the moon we can observe that phenomenon

    sergio gonçalvessergio gonçalves7 ditë më parë
  • I clicked on this video only expecting to watch a couple minutes of it. I made sure to like and subscribe when it was done 👍

    Arctic lamaArctic lama8 ditë më parë
  • It's pronounced pendulum not pendalum

    Fletcher JohnsonFletcher Johnson8 ditë më parë
  • Oh you really don't need the cheap red arrow click bait on the thumbnail.

    EricEric8 ditë më parë
  • I'm from Russia and I watch your videos, but I watch your videos from another channel that does Russian voice acting. But I still go to your channel looking for the right video and put a like. It was you who instilled in me a love for physics and I would like to say a huge thank you! You probably won't even read this comment, but I still want to write it. Thanks!

    Кабаняра КлыковКабаняра Клыков8 ditë më parë
  • i should be paying for this

    Ernest GonzalezErnest Gonzalez8 ditë më parë
  • You can’t understand the whole with the sum of its parts unless you first know who made the parts.

    Shawn SavageShawn Savage9 ditë më parë
    • So I can't understand 10= 9+1 completely? Good to know

      Aarya JainAarya Jain5 ditë më parë
  • Man if this doesn’t make you believe in God idk what will

    Shawn SavageShawn Savage9 ditë më parë
  • God made nature to function this way. How awesome is that!

    Shawn SavageShawn Savage9 ditë më parë
  • Without God there is no order, He sets everything in order!

    Shawn SavageShawn Savage9 ditë më parë
  • must be why iv never heard of or seen this bridge and work in london

    Family ThreeFamily Three9 ditë më parë
  • Outstanding demonstration , well said.

    Halima NasrinHalima Nasrin9 ditë më parë
  • Someone please share the secret of synchronization with the Windows OS, because for more than 15 years not a single Windows machine I've ever had has successfully sychronized with a time server, not even once.

    FenrirFenrir9 ditë më parë
  • Me watching the video : 15:02

    Schwatzen zeroSchwatzen zero9 ditë më parë
  • Veritasium : "So u naturally expect universe to be *MESSI* " Ronaldo fans : Nooo, i expect the universe to be Ronaldo.

    The Wolf GamingThe Wolf Gaming9 ditë më parë
  • It also brought all the fighters to the strongest being on earth.

    Pilton JonesPilton Jones10 ditë më parë
  • Fun fact my last name is lento it’s also on metronomes 50bpm

    James LentoJames Lento10 ditë më parë
  • Fantastic video

    asher plattsasher platts10 ditë më parë
  • How is clapping mysteriously synchronised?? We adjust our clap due to the overall sound and by watching those next to you. This is using our own human abilities.

    Tim JesselTim Jessel10 ditë më parë
  • Women can even synchronize their periods if they get in to a close group for some time.

    Open HeartOpen Heart10 ditë më parë
  • 19:05 "that's why we don't understand immune system very well... " Now that's some sort eye opening, especially theese days

    zokonjazokonjazokonjazokonja10 ditë më parë
  • I'm not sure about the relation of fireflies, might it also be compared with sociology, people in large crowds now behaving as themselves because of how the crowd or atmosphere is, like a starling murmurstion perhaps? Very very interesting

    Cleveland explorerCleveland explorer10 ditë më parë
  • Does this happen also to larger celestial bodies, planets oscillating around stars, stars around galaxies or even black holes?

    Juan David Navarro OrtegaJuan David Navarro Ortega10 ditë më parë
  • The kiwiko crate won't ship to my country... Devastated 😭

    Airbag888Airbag88810 ditë më parë
  • This is one of my favorite videos on ALworld.

    Bottom Dollar Outdoors: Hunt. Fish. Grow.Bottom Dollar Outdoors: Hunt. Fish. Grow.10 ditë më parë
  • plot twist : living in computer reality , just crashes after 155 player in same area and fix script working

    Ali Fatih YılmazAli Fatih Yılmaz10 ditë më parë
  • The water doesn’t freeze at the same time...but I suppose y’all put that in there to screw with smart people and trick us into commenting 😭

    Bunny Bevy TVBunny Bevy TV10 ditë më parë
  • This is vibration space time stuff

    Kris StepkeKris Stepke11 ditë më parë
  • 13:50 imagine filling a pool with that stuff

    Jacob GardiepyJacob Gardiepy11 ditë më parë
  • Millenium bridge pays homage to millenials. i.e. complete failures.

    The GornThe Gorn11 ditë më parë
  • 2:16 "Famous Dutch physisis Christiaan Huygens" Everyone: "who?"

    The GornThe Gorn11 ditë më parë
  • Can we see a similar pattern in the collection of thoughts in society?

    Jacob HoodJacob Hood11 ditë më parë
  • How can we not understand the economy we as humans invite it. It's not part of nature or science

    TwistedVNMTwistedVNM11 ditë më parë
  • Next time you are in traffic look at the turn signals they will synchronize then get out of synchronization then get back into synchronization

    TwistedVNMTwistedVNM11 ditë më parë
  • i wonder, why is it when i'm at an intersection, blinkers synchronize aswell

    Tiny TuberTiny Tuber11 ditë më parë
  • This makes me think of when I’m at a stop light and my blinker starts syncing up with the car in front of me for a few seconds

    Q QQ Q11 ditë më parë
    • Or when your bouncing your leg and notice the person nearby is bouncing in sync

      Metalman ExtremeMetalman Extreme7 ditë më parë
    • It only happens when you watch it.

      bipedalbobbipedalbob9 ditë më parë
  • Thats is an amazing insight- thank you for showing and explaining ?

    Stephen BirksStephen Birks11 ditë më parë
  • 0:06 In NY I milly rock

    Miguel VMiguel V11 ditë më parë
  • Adam Neely has entered the chat.

    Mirdjan HyleMirdjan Hyle11 ditë më parë
  • The notion of the moon “rotating about its axis” has bugged me for a while and I think it comes down to the definition of rotation. When viewed from a fixed Newtonian frame of reference, as in your animation, an observer sees all sides of the moon, hence you could say it’s rotating. But it’s not rotating about its own axis. Once the moon has been tidally locked, it no longer rotates about its axis. The analogy would be the pedal on a bike where the pedal is the moon and the center of the crank is earth. If you held the pedal and did one full rotation the pedal would rotate about its axis and the “earth” would see all sides of the crank. But an observer in the room would only see one side of the crank. If instead you did not touch the pedal but rotated the crank one revolution, the pedal would clearly not rotate about its axis and the “earth” would only see one side of the pedal...but someone standing in the room would see all sides of the pedal and hence say that it was “rotating”.

    Allan SalzmanAllan Salzman11 ditë më parë
  • explaining his first experiment. That was very cool to see.

    eioshen boboieioshen boboi12 ditë më parë
  • What if several metronomes were set on a large plane that sit on balls instead of cylinders and the metronomes were facing towards the center in a square shape

    Collin WilkersonCollin Wilkerson12 ditë më parë
  • 15:06 19:00 lol you seems convinced

    some timesome time12 ditë më parë