|MadSci Network: Physics|
Question: Can mercury be used as another medium for soniluminescence? From: James Grade: 10-12 City: Plymouth, State/Prov.: Devon Country: Great Britain Area: Physics Message ID Number: 1115843941.Ph As a conductor of heat mercury could be infinetely more useful to the development of a fusion energy source than acetone which is currently, so can a micron size gas bubble be suspended in mercury? James, To produce the effect subject a clear liquid with small bubbles to high intensity, high frequency sound. The collapsing bubbles can emit a small burst of light. It appears as if we have created a system which converts sound energy into light. The efficiency of the system is terrible but the possibility of creating light a new way is promising. Mercury is a liquid with a reasonably high vapor pressure so theoretically bubbles could be created in a sample. Mercury vapor is good at converting electrical to light energy in a fluorescent tube so it seems like a good candidate. The problems with mercury are numerous: Mercury is incredibly dense. The buoyancy of any mercury vapor bubbles would be tremendous making it difficult to create stable bubbles in mercury. Mercury is opaque. If flashes of light were created in mercury we would not be able to see them. Mercury conducts heat easily. If SL requires heat it would be hard to create or maintain high temperatures at one point in the sample. Mercury is toxic and expensive. Experiments with mercury would be tricky. So mercury is probably not a good candidate for experiment to make you the next Edison. But donít give up. The theory is there and there may be some combinations of shape, liquids, pressures, temperatures, and frequency which could create a new light bulb that uses less energy and does not pollute. To learn more about the field try: www-phys.llnl.gov/N_Div/sonolum/sonolum_paper.html Keep on thinking, E Stammel (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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