What happens when you start an 8 x 4 grid of pendulum metronomes on a moving surface? Awesome happens.
Now if these were on a firm surface, the oscillations of the metronomes would keep at the relatively same speed (depending on the metronome and its power). However, since the energy of the movement of the weighted pendulums is transferring into the movable surface, each metronome starts affecting the movement of one another.
Think of it this way... Have you ever jumped on a trampoline with someone? Now I know what you're thinking, these aren't going up and down (transverse), they're going from side to side (longitudinal). However, the way that the waves work are very similar!
Say you and I weight the same (100kg) and we're both putting forth the same amount of force down on the trampoline, but slightly out of sync... If you're on the trampoline first (in the trough) and starting to move your way back up while I land on the trampoline, I'll be transferring energy into the trampoline and launch you upwards at a greater velocity than you would have on your own. Eventually, if you and I keep putting forth the same amount of force, we'll start to synchronize.
The same goes here with these pendulums. The energy is being dispersed into the movable surface below. Over time, the movement of all of these metronomes will affect one another until they find equilibrium. They'll be moving at the same frequency!!
What's happening in this video is known as coupled oscillators, and it's a bit more complicated than my trampoline metaphor, but way more awesome. Studying coupled oscillators helps with understanding the way sound moves through a medium as well as the conductivity of heat!
H/T to io9, where I first saw this video. http://goo.gl/GU00I
#ScienceEveryday #Metronomes #CoupledOscillators #Pendulum
Is another question entirely...
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