from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. The production of light as a result of the passing of sound waves through a liquid medium. The sound waves cause the formation of bubbles that emit bright flashes of light when they collapse.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. The emission of short bursts of light from imploding bubbles in a liquid when excited by sound.
Their goal was to capture a fleeting phenomenon called sonoluminescence, and it would require an unusual medium — large amounts of xenon-infused sulfuric acid.
After five minutes in total darkness (to let everyone's eyes adjust), the audience is treated to a live demonstration of sonoluminescence, complete with the sound of the bubbles imploding.
Suslick and Flannigan first observed super-bright sonoluminescence in 2005 by sending ultrasound waves through sulfuric acid solutions to create bubbles.
However, Suslick emphasized that his group has not observed evidence that fusion takes place during sonoluminescence, as some have theorized possible.
Under the right conditions, these bubbles implode spectacularly, emitting light and reaching very high temperatures, a phenomenon called sonoluminescence.
Eddie Kasalivich, the hero of Chain Reaction, is an undergraduate machinist who once blew up a laboratory and who now has the good luck of being part of the hydrogen separation, sonoluminescence experiment headed by 60-year-old Dr. Alistair Barkley.