Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Pop Goes the Plasma: Extreme Conditions Inside Imploding Bubbles

28.06.2010
High-intensity ultrasound waves traveling through liquid leave bubbles in their wake. Under the right conditions, these bubbles implode spectacularly, emitting light and reaching very high temperatures, a phenomenon called sonoluminescence. Researchers have observed imploding bubble conditions so hot that the gas inside the bubbles ionizes into plasma, but quantifying the temperature and pressure properties has been elusive.

In a paper published in the June 27 issue of Nature Physics, University of lllinois chemistry professor Kenneth S. Suslick and former student David Flannigan, now at the California Institute of Technology, experimentally determine the plasma electron density, temperature and extent of ionization.

Suslick and Flannigan first observed super-bright sonoluminescence in 2005 by sending ultrasound waves through sulfuric acid solutions to create bubbles.

“The energies of the populated atomic levels suggested a plasma, but at that time there was no estimate of the density of the plasma, a crucial parameter to understanding the conditions created at the core of the collapsing bubble,” said Suslick, the Marvin T. Schmidt Professor of Chemistry and a professor of materials science and engineering.

The new report uses the same setup, but now with a detailed analysis of the shape of the observed spectrum, which provides information on the conditions of the region around the atoms inside the bubble as it collapses.

“The temperature can be several times that of the surface of the sun and the pressure greater than that at the bottom of the deepest ocean trench,” Suslick said.

“What’s more, we were able to determine how these properties are affected by the ferocity with which the bubble collapses, and we found that the plasma conditions generated may indeed be extreme.”

The duo observed temperatures greater than 16,000 kelvins – three times the temperature on the surface of the sun. They also measured electron densities during bubble collapse similar to those generated by laser fusion experiments. However, Suslick emphasized that his group has not observed evidence that fusion takes place during sonoluminescence, as some have theorized possible.

In addition, the researchers found that plasma properties show a strong dependence on the violence of bubble implosion, and that the degree of ionization, or how much of the gas is converted to plasma, increases as the acoustic pressure increases.

“It is evident from these results that the upper bounds of the conditions generated during bubble implosion have yet to be established,” Suslick said. “The observable physical conditions suggest the limits of energy focusing during the bubble-forming and imploding process may approach conditions achievable only by much more expensive means.”

Suslick also is affiliated with the Beckman Institute of Advanced Science and Technology at Illinois.

The National Science Foundation supported this work.

Liz Ahlberg | University of Illinois
Further information:
http://www.illinois.edu

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Studying fundamental particles in materials
17.01.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Struktur und Dynamik der Materie

nachricht Seeing the quantum future... literally
16.01.2017 | University of Sydney

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

Im Focus: How to inflate a hardened concrete shell with a weight of 80 t

At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).

Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...

Im Focus: Bacterial Pac Man molecule snaps at sugar

Many pathogens use certain sugar compounds from their host to help conceal themselves against the immune system. Scientists at the University of Bonn have now, in cooperation with researchers at the University of York in the United Kingdom, analyzed the dynamics of a bacterial molecule that is involved in this process. They demonstrate that the protein grabs onto the sugar molecule with a Pac Man-like chewing motion and holds it until it can be used. Their results could help design therapeutics that could make the protein poorer at grabbing and holding and hence compromise the pathogen in the host. The study has now been published in “Biophysical Journal”.

The cells of the mouth, nose and intestinal mucosa produce large quantities of a chemical called sialic acid. Many bacteria possess a special transport system...

Im Focus: Newly proposed reference datasets improve weather satellite data quality

UMD, NOAA collaboration demonstrates suitability of in-orbit datasets for weather satellite calibration

"Traffic and weather, together on the hour!" blasts your local radio station, while your smartphone knows the weather halfway across the world. A network of...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

Nothing will happen without batteries making it happen!

05.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Water - as the underlying driver of the Earth’s carbon cycle

17.01.2017 | Earth Sciences

Satellite-based Laser Measurement Technology against Climate Change

17.01.2017 | Machine Engineering

Studying fundamental particles in materials

17.01.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>