Heating up a lantern with a tealight candle


  • Pornrat Wattanakasiwich Department of Physics and Materials Science, Faculty of Science, Chiang Mai University, Chiang Mai, 50200 Thailand
  • P. Kongkhumbod Chiang Mai University
  • N. Pussadee Chiang Mai University




paper lanterns, drag force, buoyancy, lifting force, convection rate, tealight candle, an ill-structured problem, STEM education


This paper provided physics principles and a method to heating up a lantern with a tealight candle, so it reaches 2.5 m within the shortest time. The experiments aimed to determine optimal parameters in filling paper lanterns with hot air and the ideal shape of lanterns that would travel most quickly in a vertical direction. Hot air from burning a 28-wick candle was directed through a heat transfer system to fill the lanterns. The small ellipsoid lantern required the shortest time. This problem is suitable as a platform for STEM education approach on topics of convection, buoyancy and drag force.

Author Biography

Pornrat Wattanakasiwich, Department of Physics and Materials Science, Faculty of Science, Chiang Mai University, Chiang Mai, 50200 Thailand

Associated Professor in Physics Education


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How to Cite

P. Wattanakasiwich, P. Kongkhumbod, and N. Pussadee, “Heating up a lantern with a tealight candle”, Rev. Mex. Fis. E, vol. 19, no. 1 Jan-Jun, pp. 010206 1–, Jan. 2022.