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Do bubbles heat up as they collapse?

  1. May 29, 2007 #1
  2. jcsd
  3. May 30, 2007 #2


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    If you're referring to cavitation bubbles, it can increase in temperature quite a bit. Here is a great on-line reference for bubble dynamics and cavitation:


    Here is the TOC of the book:

    This is a highly specialized field of study. I won't pretend to know anything except the very elemental aspects so I can't get into the deep physics of what is going on.
    Last edited: May 30, 2007
  4. May 30, 2007 #3


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    The surface temperature of the sun is about 5800 degK i.e. about 20 times the ambient surface temperature of the earth, so FredGarvin's factor of "4x10^4 times the ambient temperature" is more than enough to make the initial statement plausible.
  5. May 30, 2007 #4
    Just from first principles:

    - as a bubble decreases to zero radius, the internal pressure increases infinitly (due to surface tension).

    - the shrinking of the bubble involves the condensation of gas into the surrounding liquid, which is a heating process (opposite of evaporation).

    From this I'm naively (neglecting the atomic scale) tempted to conclude that the bubble remains at a "boiling temperature" that with pressure goes also to infinity as the bubble collapses.
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