Acoustic cavitation, the growth and rapid collapse of bubbles in a liquid irradiated with ultrasound, is a unique source of energy for driving chemical reactions with sound, a process known as sonochemistry. Another consequence of acoustic cavitation is the emission of light [sonoluminescence (SL)]. Spectroscopic analyses of SL from single bubbles as well as a cloud of bubbles have revealed line and band emission, as well as an underlying continuum arising from a plasma. Application of spectrometric methods of pyrometry as well as tools of plasma diagnostics to relative line intensities, profiles, and peak positions have allowed the determination of intracavity temperatures and pressures. These studies have shown that extraordinary conditions (temperatures up to 20,000 K; pressures of several thousand bar; and heating and cooling rates of >1012 K s−1) are generated within an otherwise cold liquid.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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