Scientists have found a new way to create bubbles that, upon collapsing, briefly produce light and heat. And the heat is intense, measuring up to 26,000 kelvins (46,000 degrees Fahrenheit). That’s more than four times the temperature at the surface of the sun.
This phenomenon, called sonoluminescence, was discovered in 1934, but it is still not fully understood. Some have claimed that collapsing bubbles might create enough energy so as to be capable of supporting nuclear fusion—the process wherein the nuclei of multiple cells merge and yield energy, and which powers stars—although these claims have been met with skepticism, and haven’t been definitively demonstrated.
In a study published in the journal Physical Review Letters, French physicists Jérôme Duplat and Emmanuel Villermaux made relatively large bubbles, measuring a centimeter (0.4 inches) in diameter.
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SOURCE: Newsweek, Douglas Main