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Letters to Nature
Nature 352, 318 - 320 (25 July 1991); doi:10.1038/352318a0

Observation of synchronous picosecond sonoluminescence

Bradley P. Barber & Seth J. Putterman

Physics Department, University of California, Los Angeles, California 90024, USA

SONOLUMINESCENCE1–13 is a non-equilibrium phenomenon in which the energy in a sound wave becomes highly concentrated so as to generate flashes of light in a liquid. We show here that these flashes, which comprise over 105 photons, are too fast to be resolved by the fastest photomultiplier tubes available. Furthermore, when sonoluminescence is driven by a resonant sound field, the bursts can occur in a continuously repeating, regular fashion. These precise 'clock-like' emissions can continue for hours at drive frequencies ranging from audible to ultrasonic. These bursts represent an amplification of energy by eleven orders of magnitude

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