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Sonoluminescence occurs when a small gas bubble is oscillated in a liquid solution with ultrasonic frequencies. The bubble's collapse and cavitation results in light emission and thermal energies that may be as high as 6000 K to 20,000 K. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mechanism_of_sonoluminescence

Is the energy emission of sonoluminescence the result of the external acoustical waves or is it derived from non-external energy sources like virtual particle annihilation?

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The original energy which causes sonoluminescence comes from the sound field. The result of sonoluminescence is ultimately a product of vibration due to the sound field being applied.

https://acoustics-research.physics.ucla.edu/sonoluminescence/ https://www.physics.ncsu.edu/weninger/SLreview.pdf

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    $\begingroup$ I have read that some believe the light is related to the creation of plasma: physics.aps.org/articles/v7/72 I am just trying to understand how an oscillating cavitation creates plasma $\endgroup$ Mar 14, 2018 at 19:04
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    $\begingroup$ @RichardStanzak The compression due to the sound waves result in a high temperature. This temperature is actually high enough to ionize the gas. And those ions can now emit light. (So, the plasma is simply created due to head by compression). $\endgroup$
    – Alf
    Mar 14, 2018 at 20:05

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