While it is still a mystery of how a low-energy-density sound wave can concentrate enough energy in a small enough volume to cause the emission of light, research in acoustic cavitation and sonoluminescence has lead to plausible theories in which the source of light can be experimentally sustained. It has also lead to promising applications, such as ultrasound cleaning and the directed delivery of drugs through the cell walls.
Sonoluminescence is a comprehensive account of the subject from its discovery in 1934 to the present day, including experimental aspects and theoretical origins. The author explains how adiabatic heating achieved when the bubble collapses determines the intensity, length, and spectral properties of the light pulse. He also describes the many experiments carried out to further explain single-bubble sonoluminescence, such as measuring the length of time light is emitted, the size and stability of bubbles when light is emitted, and the effects of adding noble gases to increase light intensity.
The final chapters of Sonoluminescence give suggestions for future work and applications in fluid physics, acoustics, pipelines, ultrasonics, sonochemistry, and medicine. Through his extensive studies of acoustic cavitation, the author discusses the multiple theories that have been put forward to explain sonoluminescence, condensing selected research from over 40 years of experience into one volume to explain how light can be produced from sound.
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