Search Menu
Photonics Media Photonics Buyers' Guide Photonics Spectra BioPhotonics EuroPhotonics Vision Spectra Photonics Showcase Photonics ProdSpec Photonics Handbook
More News

Researcher Explains Physics Behind Sonoluminescence

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Email Comments
For 10 years scientists have struggled to explain the physics behind sonoluminescence, a phenomenon characterized by a tiny dot of light emanating from a solitary, sonically driven bubble.

In a paper that appeared in the April 1 issue of Nature, researchers led by Sascha Hilgenfeldt of Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass., present an explanation. Simply put, a sound wave causes a bubble to grow from about 5 µm in diameter to about 70µm. When the sound field becomes compressive, the bubble collapses from the inertia of the surrounding water. As the collapse accelerates, the gas inside the bubble compresses, and its temperature rises to 20,000 to 30,000 K, creating a plasma of ions, electrons and neutral atoms. As the energy density of the bubble is reduced, photons are emitted. The process is repeated about every 20 µs.

Photonics Spectra
Jun 1999
Research & TechnologyTech Pulse

back to top
Facebook Twitter Instagram LinkedIn YouTube RSS
©2019 Photonics Media, 100 West St., Pittsfield, MA, 01201 USA,

Photonics Media, Laurin Publishing
x Subscribe to Photonics Spectra magazine - FREE!
We use cookies to improve user experience and analyze our website traffic as stated in our Privacy Policy. By using this website, you agree to the use of cookies unless you have disabled them.