The Temperature of Cavitation

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Science  20 Sep 1991:
Vol. 253, Issue 5026, pp. 1397-1399
DOI: 10.1126/science.253.5026.1397


Ultrasonic irradiation of liquids causes acoustic cavitation: the formation, growth, and implosive collapse of bubbles. Bubble collapse during cavitation generates transient hot spots responsible for high-energy chemistry and emission of light. Determination of the temperatures reached in a cavitating bubble has remained a difficult experimental problem. As a spectroscopic probe of the cavitation event, sonoluminescence provides a solution. Sonoluminescence spectra from silicone oil were reported and analyzed. The observed emission came from excited state C2 (Swan band transitions, d3IIga3IIµ), which has been modeled with synthetic spectra as a function of rotational and vibrational temperatures. From comparison of synthetic to observed spectra, the effective cavitation temperature was found to be 5075 ± 156 K.