The rhythm of coupled metronomes
Babeş-Bolyai University, Department of
Physics, str. Kogălniceanu nr.
Received in final form: 28 March 2013
Published online: 12 June 2013
Spontaneous synchronization of an ensemble of metronomes placed on a freely rotating platform is studied experimentally and by computer simulations. A striking in-phase synchronization is observed when the metronomes’ beat frequencies are fixed above a critical limit. Increasing the number of metronomes placed on the disk leads to an observable decrease in the level of the emerging synchronization. A realistic model with experimentally determined parameters is considered in order to understand the observed results. The conditions favoring the emergence of synchronization are investigated. It is shown that the experimentally observed trends can be reproduced by assuming a finite spread in the metronomes’ natural frequencies. In the limit of large numbers of metronomes, we show that synchronization emerges only above a critical beat frequency value.
Key words: Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
© EDP Sciences, Società Italiana di Fisica and Springer-Verlag, 2013