Advanced Undergraduate Laboratory

Department of Physics

University of Toronto

SONO: Sonoluminescence

Sonoluminescence is the production of light by sound, where light is emitted by tiny bubbles suspended in a liquid subjected to intense acoustic fields.

Multi-bubble sonoluminescence was first observed in an ultrasonic water bath in 1934 by H. Frenzel and H. Schultes at the University of Cologne, an indirect result of wartime research in marine acoustic sonar. In 1988, D. Felipe Gaitan succeeded in trapping a stable sonoluminescing bubble at the centre of a flask energised at its acoustic resonance, which started an explosion of research into single-bubble sonoluminescence (SBSL).

In addition to sonoluminescence, the physics of acoustic cells and bubbles are interesting in themselves, and can also be investigated in this experiment

Write-Up in PDF Format. (LaTeX original is available from the APL Coordinator.)

(The experiment is currently located in MP246; last write-up revision: July 2015.)


Other possibly helpful information

Photo of apparatus, student, and TA

3rd year Engineering Science Major, Francis Tong, working on Sonoluminescence. In the background is graduate student demonstrator Mirco Siercke.

Last updated on 22 September 2020