Inside a collapsing bubble: Sonoluminescence and the conditions during cavitation

Kenneth S. Suslick, David J. Flannigan

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Acoustic cavitation, the growth and rapid collapse of bubbles in a liquid irradiated with ultrasound, is a unique source of energy for driving chemical reactions with sound, a process known as sonochemistry. Another consequence of acoustic cavitation is the emission of light [sonoluminescence (SL)]. Spectroscopic analyses of SL from single bubbles as well as a cloud of bubbles have revealed line and band emission, as well as an underlying continuum arising from a plasma. Application of spectrometric methods of pyrometry as well as tools of plasma diagnostics to relative line intensities, profiles, and peak positions have allowed the determination of intracavity temperatures and pressures. These studies have shown that extraordinary conditions (temperatures up to 20,000 K; pressures of several thousand bar; and heating and cooling rates of > 1012 K s-1) are generated within an otherwise cold liquid.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAnnual Review of Physical Chemistry
PublisherAnnual Reviews Inc.
Number of pages25
ISBN (Print)9780824310592
StatePublished - 2008

Publication series

NameAnnual Review of Physical Chemistry
ISSN (Print)0066-426X


  • Hydrodynamics
  • Optical emission spectroscopy
  • Plasma
  • Sonochemistry
  • Ultrasound

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Inside a collapsing bubble: Sonoluminescence and the conditions during cavitation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this