New Discoveries in Acoustics. (

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2021-06-09 06:00:14

The Pyrophone.—Mr. Frederic Kastner, musician and physicist, has invented an instrument which he calls the pyrophone, and which is illustrated in a recent number of Les Mondes. It depends upon the principle first developed by Prof. Le Conte, of Philadelphia, that two or more isolated flames, burning within tubes, will vibrate in unison so long as they are kept separated. By selecting tubes of different lengths and calibers, a sort of organ has been constructed, the mechanism consisting of a device whereby the performer can cause the separation of any two flames at will, thus producing the sound corresponding to the hey struck. The music is described as being very effective, “imitating the human voice with a mystical timber, and susceptible of producing, in religious music, the most marvelous effects.”

Photographing Sound.—It is proposed to combine with the above described instrument another apparatus, invented by König, consisting of a little drum, over which is stretched a very elastic skin; the gas, which by its separation, as above described, produces the tones, is made to pass through this drum, when it can be ignited as usual; if now the note is struck, the gas-light commences to shake in a remarkable manner, but always in a similar way for the same note, and if we look at the flames in a rotating mirror, we obtain peculiar figures, which change according to the different notes, and by using a combustible gas of chemical power, we can photograph these peculiar figures, a fact to which we have called attention on page 97 of our May number.

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