National High School of Mathematics and Science – Sofia (Bulgaria)
Abstract. In this study we will investigate an interesting collective behavior of candles. It has been observed that when several candles burn close to each other they form a common flame that exhibits oscillations in size and brightness. If two such oscillators burn together, they interact and the oscillations of the resultant system depend on the distance between them. The aim of this investigation, inspired by Problem 5 of the International Young Physicists Tournament in 2021, is to theoretically explain the phenomenon through overlapping of hot gas flows and radiation, as well as to check our understanding and measure additional parameters experimentally using advanced techniques, such as high speed schlieren photography.
Keywords: candle; flame; oscillator; schlieren photography; IYPT