Sonoluminescence is the transformation of sound into light. To most who know how to do sonoluminescence, it's just a little glowing bubble levitating in a flask of water. But it holds some surprises that have been overlooked.
The first goal of this book is to reform the scientific understanding of sonoluminescence. We will show that sonoluminescence is not the result of a hot, violent collapse, like when a hammer strikes an anvil to create a spark, but rather the light produced by the discharge of an excited cold condensate. The idea that cooling a gas with sound waves can produce light seems paradoxical because in our everyday experience, the emission of light is usually preceded by heat. But dealing with a paradox is frequently the first step in scientific progress.
With this correct understanding in hand, we will move on to the second goal of this work: unification. I will draw a dotted line around several different phenomena, so far considered to be completely unrelated, and show that they are all actually the same thing. It turns out that the little glowing bubble has an impressive big brother: atmospheric lightning. Both result from the sudden focusing of energy that can occur when a gas is cooled and forced to condense into a liquid under the right conditions. As we come to understand how powerful sonoluminescence can be, the reality of sonofusion will fit nicely into the synthesis.
The final goal of this book is to look forward to practical applications of sonoluminescence as an energy source. At this point, I'm only able to write about the connection between lightning and sonoluminescence. Someday I hope that I or others will be able to build an experiment to demonstrate this manifestly. Keep in mind that no one has ever built a true lightning machine that produces lightning the way that clouds do because we haven't understood lightning until now. I'll suggest a possible design for a sonic lightning machine that can also be thought of as a sonofusion-powered rocket engine.
Table of Contents
2. A new look at the timing of sonoluminescence
3. The quantum theory of sound
4. A new theory of sonoluminescence: it's cold
5. A related phenomenon: nuclear discharge of cold atomic clusters
6. More related phenomena
7. Lightning IS cold fusion
8. Suggestions for a future experiement - the lightning machine
10. More Bubble Traces
About the Author(s)Thomas Brennan
, Ferris State University
Thomas Brennan is a professor of physics at Ferris State University in Big Rapids, Michigan, where he has taught physics and astronomy since 2014. He completed his PhD thesis on the topic of sonoluminescence in 2009 at the Illinois Institute of Technology. He also received a BA in Physics from the University of Chicago and an MS in Physics from UCLA. His research interests include both experimental and mathematical physics as well as astronomy.