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Optics Letters

Optics Letters


  • Vol. 26, Iss. 9 — May. 1, 2001
  • pp: 575–577

Sonoluminescence: nature’s smallest blackbody

G. Vazquez, C. Camara, S. Putterman, and K. Weninger  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Letters, Vol. 26, Issue 9, pp. 575-577 (2001)

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The transduction of sound into light through the implosion of a bubble of gas leads to a flash of light whose duration is delineated in picoseconds. Combined measurements of spectral irradiance, Mie scattering, and flash width (as determined by time-correlated single-photon counting) suggest that sonoluminescence from hydrogen and noble-gas bubbles is radiation from a blackbody with temperatures ranging from 6000 K (H2) to 20,000 K (He) and a surface of emission whose radius ranges from 0.1 µm (He) to 0.4 µm (Xe) . The state of matter that would admit photon–matter equilibrium under such conditions is a mystery.

© 2001 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(300.1030) Spectroscopy : Absorption
(300.2140) Spectroscopy : Emission
(300.6170) Spectroscopy : Spectra
(350.5400) Other areas of optics : Plasmas

G. Vazquez, C. Camara, S. Putterman, and K. Weninger, "Sonoluminescence: nature’s smallest blackbody," Opt. Lett. 26, 575-577 (2001)

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  9. The spectra reported here have the same spectral density and detailed shape as reported in previous papers. But in the course of recalibrating the system we find that the scale for the y axis, namely, spectral radiance, is generally lower, being down by roughly a factor of 12 compared with what was reported in Refs. and. We have verified the new data calibrated against various lamp standards with photon counting through bandpass filters. Previously quoted values of photons per flash remain unchanged. We believe that the mistake in scaling the y axis is greater than can be accounted for by resonator variability, drive level, or thermal drift (see the discussion in Ref.). The corrected value of radiance plus our ability to measure flash width and bubble size combine to make possible the quantitative comparisons with blackbody radiation that are proposed here.
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