Using a combination of theory, experiment, and simulation, we revisit the dynamics of two coupled metronomes on a moving platform. Our experiments show that the platform’s motion is damped by a dry friction force of Coulomb type, not the viscous linear friction force that has often been assumed in the past. Prompted by this result, we develop a new mathematical model that builds on previously introduced models but departs from them in its treatment of friction on the platform. We analyze the model by a two-timescale analysis and derive the slow-flow equations that determine its long-term dynamics. The derivation of the slow flow is challenging due to the stick-slip motion of the platform in some parameter regimes. Simulations of the slow flow reveal various kinds of long-term behavior including in-phase and antiphase synchronization of identical metronomes, phase locking and phase drift of non-identical metronomes, and metronome suppression and death. In these latter two states, one or both of the metronomes come to swing at such low amplitude that they no longer engage their escapement mechanisms. We find good agreement between our theory, simulations, and experiments, but stress that our exploration is far from exhaustive. Indeed, much still remains to be learned about the dynamics of coupled metronomes, despite their simplicity and familiarity.
Coupled metronomes on a moving platform with Coulomb friction
Note: This article is part of the Focus Issue, Dynamics of Oscillator Populations.
Guillermo H. Goldsztein, Lars Q. English, Emma Behta, Hillel Finder, Alice N. Nadeau, Steven H. Strogatz; Coupled metronomes on a moving platform with Coulomb friction. Chaos 1 April 2022; 32 (4): 043119. https://doi.org/10.1063/5.0085216
Download citation file: