32 Metronomes Fall in Line on Instructions from the Boss Metronome

by Matthew Burgess on October 5, 2012

Well, of course that isn’t true. One metronome can’t give instructions to others metronomes. But yet, with these cute little colorful metronomes, like many systems in nature, order emerges from disorder. They all start ticking away at a different time and pace then the others. Yet, within a couple minutes, they all begin to tap out the same beat.

Complexity and order emerges from simple sets of conditions or rules. What can seem like coordination to the plans of a “boss” is often nothing of the sort. Beautiful things happen with a plan or a planner.

This video is sort of mesmerizing. Watch, and see if you can guess what principles of physics allow this to happen.

Then, after you’ve placed your bets on the cause, go see the answer from Julianne Dalcanton at Cosmic Variance.

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