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Do bubbles heat up as they collapse?

  1. May 29, 2007 #1
    In the video at http://www.spikedhumor.com/articles/108195/Real_Life_Creature_Assassin.html [Broken]

    they say something about the "bubbles momentarily reach the temperature of the sun". I dont understand this bit at all, or how this mechanism works.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2017
  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:

    http://caltechbook.library.caltech.edu/1/04/chap3.htm#L1 [Broken]

    Here is the TOC of the book:
    http://caltechbook.library.caltech.edu/1/04/content.htm [Broken]

    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 by a moderator: May 2, 2017
  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 (http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/surten2.html#c2").

    - 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.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 22, 2017
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