Harmonic oscillator Friday

Let’s close out the week with some physics…and a fun, hypnotizing video.

Ordinarily, metronomes remind me of boring, interminable piano lessons (which were all the more painful because I hardly ever practiced). Today, they illustrate how harmonic oscillation works.

If you place two, or in this case, 32 metronomes on a solid, stable surface and start them ticking at different times, they’ll just go right on swinging at their own pace. But if you put them on a movable surface, something else happens…

What happens is the metronomes “talk” to each other through the energy radiated into the board by the ticking. Adam Micolich is a physics professor at the University of New South Wales, and explains how this works.

Just a little physics tidbit to impress your friends over the weekend. Or not.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s