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October 29, 2002

Gas bubbles form and collapse when a liquid is energized by ultrasound

Gas bubbles form and collapse when a liquid is energized by ultrasound.

More about this Image
When a gas bubble in a liquid is excited by ultrasonic acoustic waves, it can emit short flashes of light, suggesting extreme temperatures inside the bubble. These flashes of light are known as "sonoluminescence" and occur as the bubble implodes, or cavitates.

Chemists, supported by the U.S. National Science Foundation (grant CHE 0079124), have for the first time measured the chemical reactions and light emission from a single water bubble excited by sound waves.

The findings were reported in the July 25, 2002, issue of Nature. Read more in the NSF press release Light from gas bubbles: Sonoluminescence measured. (Year of image: 2000)

Credit: K.S. Suslick and K.J. Kolbeck, University of Illinois

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