Friday, May 7, 2021

I'm not sure I fully understand this phenomenon...

 ...but it does seem to illustrate the spread of "woke" ideology.


JeffS said...

This is an aspect of simple harmonic motion, which isn't so simple ... ... alas, it does model the spread of "woke" ideology very well indeed.

I won't go further into that analogy, except to point out that spread of that awful neo-marxism requires an uncritical compliancy on the part of people. Or rather, sheeple.

.... .... ....

But I admit that I geeked out when I saw this video. So, for a little fun, I offer this:

I haven't delved into harmonics since college (many many moons ago), but it was a significant element in our structural design courses. The collapse of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge ("Galloping Gertie") in the 1930s is an example of simple harmonic motion.

Yes, really. That bridge collapsed from simple harmonic motion induced by winds on a design that was unintentionally aerodynamic. When the winds blew, the bridge moved. Locals named it "Galloping Gertie" well before the collapse.

Simple harmonic motion is defined as:

"Simple harmonic motion, in physics, repetitive movement back and forth through an equilibrium, or central, position, so that the maximum displacement on one side of this position is equal to the maximum displacement on the other side. The time interval of each complete vibration is the same. The force responsible for the motion is always directed toward the equilibrium position and is directly proportional to the distance from it. "

Later in the article (after you dig through some physics and math), this is offered:

"The motion is called harmonic because musical instruments make such vibrations that in turn cause corresponding sound waves in air. Musical sounds are actually a combination of many simple harmonic waves corresponding to the many ways in which the vibrating parts of a musical instrument oscillate in sets of superimposed simple harmonic motions, the frequencies of which are multiples of a lowest fundamental frequency. In fact, any regularly repetitive motion and any wave, no matter how complicated its form, can be treated as the sum of a series of simple harmonic motions or waves, a discovery first published in 1822 by the French mathematician Joseph Fourier."

But this video is a new one to me; I've never seen this demonstration before.

So I did a bit of searching, and found the same video on the UCLA Physics & Astronomy web site, but lacking any explanation (although the section on simple harmonic motion does have excellent examples of what that looks like.

And then I found this page, which offers this explanation:

Loosely speaking, each oscillator tries to modulate the frequency of all the other oscillator so as to bring them more into phase with itself. For low coupling the system is not able to synchronize at all. At a certain critical value (0.16), sync starts to happen, and as the coupling is increased the degree of sync also increases.

In other words, as the metronomes (a specialized oscillator) all rest on a common base that can move, the motion of one influences the others. If they rested on a solid base, this wouldn't happen. As repetitive motion always seeks equiquilibrium, eventually all of the metronomes settle into the same frequency ("more into phase with itself"). Like a good group of singers, they harmonize.

JeffS said...

Ugh! I messed ip the first link. That should be


Paco said...

I think this is a truly fascinating phenomenon. I wish I had a better comprehension of physics. Unfortunately, when I took a physics class in high school, I spent most of my time in the back of the class playing blackjack with a friend of mine.

RebeccaH said...

I think JeffS has it right. If you watch the video, the base is clearly moving back and forth, and that movement is influencing the metronomes.

I suppose you could use it as an analogy for the spread of wokeism, simply because human beings are, at heart, herd animals and will do anything to fit in.

Mike_W said...

"Wokeism" provides a good analogy.

I intuitively understand what is going on.
The movement of the base tends to be in phase with the motion of the majority of metronomes.
This reinforces their motion and acts against the "rebel" metronomes, gradually bringing them more into phase, until they are all in perfect harmony.

Mike_W said...

Were you into blackjack, Paco?

Back when I was working as a Systems Analyst/Programmer I wrote a program to analyze blackjack.
Basically, it involved randomizing a few decks of cards, then drawing a card for for the dealer.
Then the program would draw random cards for the player until they totalled 12 or better, then playing one hand "sitting" and another hand drawing one more card for the player.
Then the program would draw for the dealer until they reached 17 or more, or "busted".
After many thousands of hands played this way, the program provided a direct comparison on whether it's better to "sit" or draw against any dealer opening card.

Turned out it's better for the player to "sit" on 12 or more where the dealer has a bad first card like a 4,5,6.
Also, it turned out it may be a good idea to draw until over 17 where the dealer has a good first card(10, Ace), although those stats were borderline.

Same sort of routine for "splits" and "doubles".

Also turned out that the advice, "always split eights and aces" and double where possible where the dealer has a bad first card(4,5,6), is good advice.

First time my company sent me on a junket to the Gold Cost I won a couple of grand at blackjack.

Paco said...

Good stuff, Mike!

I am eternally indebted to my two little red-headed twin cousins who taught me to play blackjack and poker when I was around 10 years old. From my late teens through my mid-20s, I was part of a group that got together to play cards every Friday or Saturday night: blackjack and several varieties of poker (draw, Dr. Pepper, five-card stud, seven-card stud, pass the trash, and a fairly high stakes version called banana boat bingo, in which you had to have the best poker hand plus the high spade to win). I'm sure I lost more than I won, but it was great fun. Eventually I also learned to play pinochle, and I would partner with my best friend's younger brother against my best friend and his other brother. We were practically invincible.