The effects of many external parameters on single-bubble sonoluminescence (SBSL) have been studied since its discovery 13 years ago in 1990. These studies include the effects due to host water temperature, dissolved gas, ambient pressure, and even magnetic fields. Because the stability of the bubble depends in part on gravity, through its buoyancy, it is natural to study SBSL in microgravity. This is the subject of this thesis: the design and fabrication of an experiment to study the effects of gravity on SBSL for use on the NASA KC-135 aircraft. The KC-135 aircraft flies in a parabolic trajectory to simulate weightlessness for about 20 s per parabolic maneuver, performing roughly 40 parabolas per flight. During those flights, the bubble’s size, position in the imposed sound field, and emitted light intensity were measured. The apparatus and techniques used to make these measurements, along with the constraints imposed by the unique environment afforded by experimentation aboard the KC-135, are discussed in detail. Preliminary results are reported, and a full uncertainty analysis is presented for each measurement.
Thesis advisor: R. Glynn Holt
Copies of this thesis may be obtained by contacting the advisor, Glynn Holt, Dept. of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering, Boston University, 110 Cummington St., Boston, MA 02215. E-mail address: email@example.com