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

  • Victor van der Drift
    Victor van der Drift

    "The bridge had undergone a phase transition" ... How do I get excited about this sentence? 😂

  • Isaac

    Really Great video. Would you do us a favor and talk about the safety of the radioactive water Japan is planning to dump into the ocean? Really really concerned

  • Leo van den Brandt
    Leo van den Brandt

    When you’ve read the HP books and realize just how awesome his YT name is...

  • Oliver Barber
    Oliver Barber

    “The whole is more than the sum of the parts” -19:19ish. I like to hear this. I believe we have souls and individuality. There’s a reason consciousness doesn’t make sense when it’s speculated upon from a perspective that omits the existence of God. We are who He made us and I am not you nor you me. I am who He says I am and science can only prove that. What power does the earth have above the Lord. Oh, how great He is that He should make this world and all of existence, which should strive for entropy, synchronize in ways specifically designed to support us. He didn’t make everything then decide to put us in it. He made all of existence just to have us and know us and that we may know Him!

  • Bird Box
    Bird Box

    its simple!

  • Mr. Logician
    Mr. Logician

    Matter can behave like this, but mind has different mechanisms, it can still swim accross the stream, even when whole world seems to be against one mind, mind can still keep moving in the direction of its will

  • Nosho

    Gaining a better understanding of the wide range of effects of feedback loops and emergent behaviour is the next big leap for most sciences.

  • Berika Beridze
    Berika Beridze

    Very interesting video, thanks! And what about the synchronization in living organisms? For example, in Humans dance synchronization. Or is there any other exaples? Maybe in Birds on other mammals? Or even unicellular organisms 🤔

  • Jason Spades
    Jason Spades

    This happens with my blinker when I'm at a red light.

  • (¬̃ ‿¬̃)
    (¬̃ ‿¬̃)

    Full of ads 👎🏻

  • festus ewere
    festus ewere

    Nice video

  • Briz KT
    Briz KT

    A thought that occurred to me is where, if applicable at all, does the harmonic series (Sigma 1/n to infinity) come in? Nearly all, if not all, naturally occurring synchronizations can be mathematically represented via the harmonic series, from music, rotating bodies, and wave dynamics.

    • Veritmasium

      Thanks for your comment

  • Daryl Thomas
    Daryl Thomas

    So its proven, even God has OCD.

  • Mullcrum the Sage
    Mullcrum the Sage

    Well it's simple really..the internal mechanism does it.

  • Moop win
    Moop win

    Spiral energy is real gurren laggan did happen

  • Samyak Kasliwal
    Samyak Kasliwal

    I wish I could work with a genius like you


    the pendulum clock thing always happens with a indicator on a car

  • Aesop De Moor
    Aesop De Moor

    theory is flawed from the start.

  • Rwdphotos

    I was hoping it would go into more specifics how conservation of momentum might play a part.

  • Aesop De Moor
    Aesop De Moor

    bla bla bla, big word jargon for pendulum and gyro effects Newtons cradle

  • Aesop De Moor
    Aesop De Moor

    speed and rate of people stepping

  • g

    Yo awesome video bro my friend Christian loves you so I love you too ❤️

  • Pedro Hugo
    Pedro Hugo

    What if you put them perpendicular to eachother? Like, the object itself perpendicular to eachother on top of the platform.

  • Thomas Jey
    Thomas Jey

    This video does nothing to explain this phenomenon.

  • Blue Marbel
    Blue Marbel

    After quickly reading the channel name, I thought you were Reggie Middleton, the creator of the crypto currency Veritaseum. :-)

  • Leoster Banzon
    Leoster Banzon

    Hi, is there a way I can send you an email about something i discovered from your previous video? I can't really stop thinking about it and I hope I can share it with you because I know how good you are at explaining things. It's all about space-time. And I think i have an idea that we never thought before.

  • Artico


  • EnEm Gee
    EnEm Gee

    When we don’t understand the synchronization, we call it chaos.

  • bhasky

    Absolutely cracking video. I always had this question , when I read 2nd law of thermodynamics. Entropy always grows. Then there must be a fight between system getting destroyed over time and system maintaining itself .

  • Andrew Pascal
    Andrew Pascal

    Prof. Steven Strogatz was absolutely amazing to listen to! I'm definitely grabbing a copy of his book.

  • jack mann
    jack mann

    the most stunning part of this video is the quality can be set to 2160p 😦

    • jack mann
      jack mann

      @DustyBc crypto News 😂😂😂 love your vids btw

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      DustyBc crypto News

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  • Dworv


  • Nathaniel Miller
    Nathaniel Miller

    watching the footage of the people crossing the bridge in these times reminded me how physically close we used to be to other people

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      DustyBc crypto News

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  • Zqud

    I swear I see this with people's blinkers in turn lanes

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      DustyBc crypto News

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  • kickinvideo333

    The dude on Zoom lives in an Ames Room😆

  • JustJo

    We can't use psychologically/ biologically synchronizations of people and bugs as an analogy to physics.

  • Ruby Gray
    Ruby Gray

    Effect spoiled by using fake pendulum clocks

  • Donaldo Olivier Pineda Ramos
    Donaldo Olivier Pineda Ramos

    Hi I have a question. Why when we want to spin a can with liquid inside in the air it stops by itself?

  • Глеб Жеглов
    Глеб Жеглов

    Привет из России👋

  • Lorenzo Bianchi
    Lorenzo Bianchi

    This phenomenon can be used in analog synthesizers, or in digital imitations of the principle, to obtain the syncronized sound of different waveform, which give different results depending on the waveshape, the oscillation period, the phase and other parameters. It's amazing how things apparently so different can follow similar, simple rules.

  • mik 02910
    mik 02910

    Another example: In Football stadium, one fan begins a chant, then another joins, then another, then the whole crowd's singing. Same with the Mexican wave.

  • Steven Koutstaal
    Steven Koutstaal

    wow. an 'unprompted' experiment

  • Banana god
    Banana god

    Thumbs up if you are really skeptical of the year 1656

  • Dave Cooke
    Dave Cooke

    I need to poop at the same time every morning, does that count?

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      DustyBc crypto News

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  • Ping Pong
    Ping Pong

    why is Earth not locked to Sun like moon is locked to Earth?

  • Donny Sandley
    Donny Sandley

    Women who are around each other a lot their ministrations fluids will synchronize together 🧐

  • Luc-Angelo Sean Nepomuceno
    Luc-Angelo Sean Nepomuceno

    Just amazing... I love this topic

  • Written Dreams
    Written Dreams

    Your son!! How cute!!!

  • Box Fox
    Box Fox

    Energy creates energy? Objects in motion stays in motion. But law of energy states, it cannot be created or destroyed.

  • Alexton rahdeeo
    Alexton rahdeeo

    16:16 funny how that would be obvious to any musician !

  • Marc David Vardai
    Marc David Vardai

    I see my city, I upvote.

  • Alexton rahdeeo
    Alexton rahdeeo

    10:00 i don’t think this is a sync ... it’s just something that is done after every show to call actors back on the scene .... Literally every I’ve been to or saw

  • StormontMan

    The most annoying thing about you is ... that you were on SVname for 10 years before I discovered you!

  • Rafael S.
    Rafael S.

    Best 20 minutes I've watch in a long time.

  • żonk

    Everything just adjusts to universe's tick speed

  • Charming nowhere to hide
    Charming nowhere to hide

    The clip where the audience was clapping and then when they all clapped in sync freaked me out. How beautiful nature is, man

  • morbikdon

    mannnn hell of a video!

  • Mister Murtad
    Mister Murtad

    What if you started the metronomes on separate tables. Would they still pick up the syncho from the floor?

  • LoudSilence

    If all humans sync their steps maybe we can push the Earth out of the Solar system.

    • Charming nowhere to hide
      Charming nowhere to hide

      This is a cool science project omg

  • George Solorio
    George Solorio

    Add my Snapchat if your down like that!!!@ soloriogeorge82

  • George Solorio
    George Solorio

    Add my Snapchat if your down like that!!!@ soloriogeorge82

  • dezertson2011


  • Fordman

    I see those chemical waves when i close my eyes

  • Fordman

    I see those chemical waves when i close my eyes

  • WillBrink

    Seeing all those people crossing the bridge in step like that reminds of what lemmings humans are.

  • Mike theBike
    Mike theBike

    🏍️ 'One would tick. One would talk.'

  • Isaque Veríssimo
    Isaque Veríssimo


  • L Stiltskin
    L Stiltskin

    I think I have actually built a perpetual motion machine using pendulum motions and magnets. Well it's been going since the 4 days ago I've built it

  • L Stiltskin
    L Stiltskin

    Yippee science stuff xxx

  • Andrew McGillivray
    Andrew McGillivray

    would it work with drummer and bassist in my band?

  • L Stiltskin
    L Stiltskin

    I did the clock thing with the pendulum myself and have whipless that's in action I just thought I was going nuts and moving things with my mind

  • Nick Diesal
    Nick Diesal

    Im high asf this video almost exploded my brain

  • Don Patterson
    Don Patterson

    air is the coupling between fireflies. The Vibration of the Coupling is what determines the speed at which actions Synchronize. Increase or decrease the Vibration of the Coupling or Medium and you will see the speed of Synchronization occur faster or slower. You can control this.

  • richad warren
    richad warren

    This is a cool science project omg

  • Jens Ludwigsburg
    Jens Ludwigsburg

    super interessant! danke

  • MrGilRoland

    When I listen to music inside my car, it’s only a matter of time until every pedestrian I look to, moves in sync with the music. Now explain this.

  • random spacedude
    random spacedude

    imagine breaking a bridge because your to synchronized

  • Chadrach William
    Chadrach William

    The answer to the question not asked is, "Cosmic collective consciousness"

    • Box Fox
      Box Fox


  • N D
    N D

    00:25 People with anxiety disorder: "AND EVEN WHAT!?"

  • Inventor

    regarding the frequency of steps to make a bridge move. it's not only half and double the frequency, it's also the thirds. in other words 2=3 and viceversa, same what happens in triplets in music. 75 b.p.m = 100 bpm (3=2) and also the other fractions same as the nodes for harmonics in guitar string.

  • Semisi Tuitupou
    Semisi Tuitupou

    Blinkers synch up for me too

  • captain2212

    Is this how grasshoppers turn into locusts ?

  • Michael D
    Michael D

    Any suggestions on where to find methods for determining/calculating the resonant frequency of a structure like a bridge? I'm not looking to learn all of civil engineering, but rather a short instructive video?

  • Steven Verrall
    Steven Verrall

    This is why the Universe is not governed by the laws of thermodynamics. As such, theories such as the Big Bang, Dark Energy, and Dark Matter are based on a foundation of flawed assumptions. The Universe is actually governed by plasma dynamics. Plasma researchers have long observed self-organizing systems. The Universe may actually have become more ordered with time. There may actually be a natural balance between plasma dynamics and thermodynamics where increasing order in one place is balanced by increasing disorder in another. In this sense, our Universe may be an eternal system. If humanity believes the Universe is an eternal system, we will finally be able to give up our harmful obsession with fatalism.

  • Richard Levy
    Richard Levy

    Excellent video. I suspect predicting the behavior of individuals in response to economic factores might take a step forward using the principles illustrated in this video.

  • Jehu McSpooran
    Jehu McSpooran

    The funny thing with the clapping is that quite often the entertainer will get the audience to start clapping in time. Once the sync has started, the speed of the claps increases as the fervour grows until spontaneously the sync disappears and random clapping takes over. I've never seen it go from chaotic to synchronous.

  • DVDwr

    Same thing happends when you lay with someone, like cuddling. Your breathing tend to synchronize naturaly

  • DonBelial

    Why does this make me happy?

  • Mark Pendragon
    Mark Pendragon

    *Penguingate* - Read all about it, the millennium's greatest scandal in synchronisation.

  • Trebeh Odaglas
    Trebeh Odaglas

    This video was so cool!

  • Marcfx

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

  • Nik's Sofa
    Nik's Sofa

    Trigger warning: Wrong animatied pendulum at 2:20

  • Yak

    Subtitles are kinda meh.

  • Paul Gibby
    Paul Gibby

    Love your shows. Also the electro-music you use. Thanks.

  • C V
    C V

    3:50 simple. its a bug.

  • Contessa Adella
    Contessa Adella

    I knew our moon was gravitationally locked to match Earth’s rotation....but not how! This vid explained it very well with its bulging moon diagram....Thank you!

  • Mc Len
    Mc Len

    for humans that think.. it's more of patterns and synchronization.. the moment we hear a patter we immediately pick it up and copy it..

  • Ceijonius

    I didn't even know I was into science like this.😳 You made this topic very interesting to learn about! Thanks for teaching me something new today!🤓👍🏾☺️

  • SomeOne

    Nobody: Scientists: hold my RGB water

  • Sustainability, Whaaat?!
    Sustainability, Whaaat?!

    Can this also be said for the Mexican Wave in soccer stadium?