Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Research Uncovers Possible New Explanation For Sonoluminescence

Date:
June 22, 1998
Source:
Ohio State University
Summary:
An Ohio State University physicist may have uncovered the atomic process behind sonoluminescence, an effect in which ultrasonic waves break against the surface of a water bubble and heat the atoms inside until they glow.

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- An Ohio State University physicist may have uncovered the atomic process behind sonoluminescence, an effect in which ultrasonic waves break against the surface of a water bubble and heat the atoms inside until they glow.

This new explanation may assist the emerging field of sonochemistry, where scientists use ultrasound to accelerate and enhance chemical reactions -- for instance, in the creation of new materials. It may also hold applications in the field of optics.

Sanjay Khare, a postdoctoral researcher in physics at Ohio State, said that even though scientists know a great deal about the motions of bubbles and ultrasonic waves, nobody knows exactly how sonoluminescence works on an atomic level.

“We’re talking about the physical conditions inside an ordinary bubble in water,” said Khare, “but still this is a phenomenon that we don’t fully understand.”

Khare and Pritiraj Mohanty, a graduate student of physics at the University of Maryland, College Park, found a possible clue to the atomic source of sonoluminescence when they considered that the ultrasound-stimulated bubbles emit light in very short pulses, as short as 10 parts in a trillionth of a second.

“We knew that any single atom of the gas inside a bubble would take much longer to decay and emit light,” said Khare. “And we knew that when many atoms decay together they sometimes decay faster.”

Khare and Mohanty hit upon the idea that if the many atoms inside the bubble decayed at the same time, then the light waves would emerge in step with each other and at the same frequency. That would account for the short pulses.

In a paper that appeared in a recent issue of the journal Physical Review Letters, the researchers proposed that stimulated, or excited, atoms decaying in unison could emit the kind of light seen in sonoluminescence.

The researchers also hypothesized in the paper that the type of gas inside the bubble will affect the reaction. They cited previous studies in which minute traces of specific gases inside bubbles intensified light emission.

If correct, Khare and Mohanty’s idea will explain sonoluminescence at an atomic or microscopic level. Scientists have known of the phenomenon for over 60 years, but none have yet found a satisfactory explanation.

Khare said that even though sonoluminescence was discovered in 1934, the effect gathered real interest among physicists only eight years ago when researchers at the University of Mississippi developed a technique for maintaining a single bubble during experiments, which afforded researchers more control of the process.

During sonoluminescence, the gas inside the bubble may reach temperatures as high as 10,000 degrees Celsius -- almost twice the temperature on the surface of the sun. Sonochemists believe they may be able to use the high temperatures to fuse atoms and form new materials.

In a possible optics-related application, sonoluminescence may act as a source of ultra-short light pulses, which scientists use to study very short physical processes such as atomic excitation.

Khare and Mohanty plan to continue this work, which was sponsored by the National Science Foundation and the Department of Energy Basic Energy Sciences, Division of Materials Sciences.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Ohio State University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Ohio State University. "Research Uncovers Possible New Explanation For Sonoluminescence." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 June 1998. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/06/980622061213.htm>.
Ohio State University. (1998, June 22). Research Uncovers Possible New Explanation For Sonoluminescence. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/06/980622061213.htm
Ohio State University. "Research Uncovers Possible New Explanation For Sonoluminescence." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/06/980622061213.htm (accessed September 30, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Argentina's Tax Evaders Detected, Hunted Down by Drones

Argentina's Tax Evaders Detected, Hunted Down by Drones

AFP (Sep. 30, 2014) Argentina doesn't only have Lionel Messi the footballer, it has now also acquired "Mesi" the drone system which monitors undeclared mansions, swimming pools and soy fields to curb tax evasion in the country. Duration: 01:18 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Do Video Games Trump Brain Training For Cognitive Boosts?

Do Video Games Trump Brain Training For Cognitive Boosts?

Newsy (Sep. 29, 2014) More and more studies are showing positive benefits to playing video games, but the jury is still out on brain training programs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
CERN Celebrates 60 Years of Science

CERN Celebrates 60 Years of Science

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 29, 2014) CERN, the European Organisation for Nuclear Research, celebrates 60 years of bringing nations together through science. As Joanna Partridge reports from inside the famous science centre it's also planning to turn the Large Hadron Collider particle accelerator back on after an upgrade. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
This 'Invisibility Cloak' Is Simpler Than Most

This 'Invisibility Cloak' Is Simpler Than Most

Newsy (Sep. 28, 2014) Researchers from the University of Rochester have created a type of invisibility cloak with simple focal lenses. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins