ScienceDaily (Jun. 4, 2007) — University of Utah physicists developed small devices that turn heat into sound and then into electricity. The technology holds promise for changing waste heat into electricity, harnessing solar energy and cooling computers and radars. Five of Symko's doctoral students recently devised methods to improve the efficiency of acoustic heat-engine devices to turn heat into electricity.
"You have heat, which is so disorderly and chaotic, and all of a sudden you have sound coming out at one frequency," Symko says.
University of Utah physicist Orest Symko demonstrates how heat can be converted into sound by using a blowtorch to heat a metallic screen inside a plastic tube, which then produces a loud tone, similar to when air is blown into a flute.