Sonoluminescence is one of those strange phenomenon that many would never encounter outside an academic environment. For those who have never heard of it, Sonoluminescence is when tiny bubbles suspended in a liquid emit light while being vibrated at certain frequencies. We were pleased to see that some plans are out there on how to build your own device to produce it.

[via io9]


  1. Andrew says:

    I did this in high school for a science fair project. Its not that hard, and pretty freeking cool.

  2. Tim says:

    Video of what looks like the same setup:

  3. Hackius says:

    It looks suspiciously like Cherenkov radiation

  4. medix says:

    This is an excellent write-up. I’d be interested to know if anyone has attempted any pump-probe experiments to determine if there exists any ultrafast phenomena within these tiny bubbles.

    Good stuff.

  5. Bob says:

    Hackaday, shouldn’t you cite the source of your image for this post? It would be considered fair use if it came from the main article, but it doesn’t. Looks like you found it with a google image search of “sonoluminescence”, and then taking the first result….

  6. osgeld says:

    its on the wikipedia page they linked too

  7. Wes says:

    One of those strange “phenomena” …

  8. Tachikoma says:

    @Hackius – Nein, das ist nicht korrekt.

  9. Hackius says:

    I said it looks like

  10. joe kozak says:

    anyone tried noble gases? Neon, etc?
    I wonder if the abundance of Nitrogen in air causes the mini-shockwave light output to perdominately UV?
    can I get a chilli cheese dog with that?

  11. bothersaidpooh says:

    a little while ago i came up with an idea for “seeding” bubbles using a pulsed NUV laser, this might work..
    the basic principle is fairly simple, in that the focal range can be localised to within about a millimetre of the correct point.

    interestingly it might be possible to make the bubbles collapse more quickly if the laser is pulsed at the correct point in the cycle, which *might* generate weak X-rays due to “braking” or bremsstralung.

  12. M4CGYV3R says:

    I was reading an article on Sonic Implosion Fusion today and there was a great explanation of Sonoluminescence:
    What we call sound is really a series of moving pressure fronts. The pressure at a fixed point swings from low to high and back as the sound wave sweeps by. If the sound is loud enough and at the right frequency, the pressure at the trough of the wave will be so low that the fluid will boil, producing microscopic bubbles. When the high pressure front at the crest of the sound wave slams into these bubbles, they implode, and shock waves focus the energy of the implosion to a central region of atomic dimensions. The temperature at that central point skyrockets above 10,000 degrees Celsius, the pressure zooms to 10,000 atmospheres and a flash of light emerges for just a few picoseconds. The bigger the bubble, the more energy in the implosion, and the hotter and brighter the sonoluminescent flash.


  13. t&p says:

    I would like to see this replace LCD TVs

  14. Timo says:

    check this:
    artistic installations and performances with sonoluminescence

  15. rodion says:

    i’m not hackmania

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