In the early 1930s Frenzel and Schultes discovered that photographic plates became "fogged" when submerged in water exposed to high frequency sound. More recent experiments have succeeded in suspending a single luminous pulsating bubble in a standing wave acoustic field, visible in an undarkened room. Generally sonoluminescence is light emission from small cavitating bubbles of air or other gas in water or other fluids, produced when the fluid is acted upon by intense high frequency sound waves. The mechanism is not completely understood, but very high pressures and temperatures are thought to be produced at the centre of the collapsing bubbles.

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