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Could one arrange a simple candle or wick oil lamp in a way that it would make a sound while it is burning? A simple device without a Sterling engine etc.

Does the rising hot air have enough energy to play a musical instrument?

Bonus if it could make a dual tone or warble for an alarm signal.

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    $\begingroup$ I dont know if dry air is enough, but there already exist steam whistles. For example whistling tea kettles, or old train whistles. $\endgroup$
    – user190081
    Commented Sep 8, 2018 at 15:53
  • $\begingroup$ I suppose if one had two almost identical units adjacent to each other the beat frequency could be distinctive. $\endgroup$
    – KalleMP
    Commented Sep 8, 2018 at 16:32
  • $\begingroup$ I was also thinking that a petrol or paraffin burner could power a whistle but the complexity is going too high. I would have hoped for a disposable unit that has little of value. Imagine a haunted hilltop that stops automatically after a few hours. $\endgroup$
    – KalleMP
    Commented Sep 8, 2018 at 16:35
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    $\begingroup$ Google for "pyrophone." $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 8, 2018 at 16:49
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    $\begingroup$ The haunted hilltop whistle reminds me of the natural nuclear fission reaction in Gabon. If the water boiled off and happened to cause a whistling noise at some point where it exited the ground... $\endgroup$
    – Michael
    Commented Sep 8, 2018 at 22:43

2 Answers 2

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Absolutely!

The classic example is the Rijke tube, where a Bunsen flame (in modern versions) acts as an energy source. When the flame is placed at a location where the heat release can couple with the pressure nodes, it will amplify the acoustic waves and make it "sing." It's a fun experiment and can be done with a candle and a pipe at home (like the original setup).

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  • $\begingroup$ Those are loud! If one is a bit careful one can use a wide cardboard tube. $\endgroup$
    – user137289
    Commented Sep 8, 2018 at 16:14
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    $\begingroup$ This is amazing, never heard of it but it is old news. Hmm, 1kW of electrical heat is a bit much. I was thinking of a candle powered haunted house :-) Can this be scaled down, I don't need a lot of noise. $\endgroup$
    – KalleMP
    Commented Sep 8, 2018 at 16:30
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Yes you can. the propane-fueled radiant space heater in my shop exhibits a very strong resonance while the flame is on which is loud enough to interfere with conversation.

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  • $\begingroup$ Looking for compact examples. Though your heater sounds antisocial. $\endgroup$
    – KalleMP
    Commented Sep 8, 2018 at 19:33
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    $\begingroup$ it is antisocial. the only antidote is vodka. $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 8, 2018 at 22:21

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