Measurement of pressure and density inside a single sonoluminescing bubble

David J. Flannigan, Stephen D. Hopkins, Carlos G. Camara, Seth J. Putterman, Kenneth S. Suslick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

70 Scopus citations


The average pressure inside a sonoluminescing bubble in sulfuric acid has been determined by two independent techniques: (1) plasma diagnostics applied to Ar atom emission lines, and (2) light scattering measurements of bubble radius vs time. For dimly luminescing bubbles, both methods yield intracavity pressures ∼1500 bar. Upon stronger acoustic driving of the bubble, the sonoluminescence intensity increases 10000-fold, spectral lines are no longer resolved, and radius vs time measurements yield internal pressures >3700 bar. Implications for a hot inner core are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number204301
JournalPhysical review letters
Issue number20
StatePublished - 2006


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