If you place those
32 metronomes on a rigid surface, they will continue to run out
of synchrony forever. If instead you place them on a moveable platform,
it will begin oscillating side to side with increasing amplitude until
the discordant rebels finally comply. There is probably a social behavior
parallel somewhere, but the more important principle at work is the
likening the system (metronomes + moveable platform) to a resonant circuit
with feedback. Surely someone reading this can supply an equation for
us that models the phenomenon.
Posted May 2013
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