Spatio-temporal dynamics of acoustic cavitation bubble clouds

U. Parlitz, R. Mettin, S. Luther, I. Akhatov, M. Voss, W. Lauterborn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

124 Citations (Scopus)


Bubble clouds forming in an extended volume of liquid in acoustic cavitation show a slowly varying filamentary structure, whose origin is still not completely understood. Experimental observations are reported that provide some characteristics of the phenomenon, such as bubble distributions and sound-field measurements. A discussion of relevant physical interactions in bubbly liquids is comprised of wave dynamics, Bjerknes and drag forces, nucleation and coalescence. For describing the structure formation process, continuum and particle approaches are employed. In the framework of the continuum model it is shown that homogeneous bubble distributions are unstable, and regions with high bubble concentration emerge in the course of a self-concentration process. In the particle model, all bubbles are treated as interacting objects that move in the liquid. This approach is complementary to the continuum model. It allows the inclusion of some particular features, for instance Bjerknes forces based on nonlinear bubble oscillations. Both models are discussed and results are compared with experimentally observed patterns.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)313-334
Number of pages22
JournalPhilosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences
Issue number1751
Publication statusPublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Bjerknes forces
  • Chaotic dynamics
  • Particle model
  • Structure formation
  • Wave equation


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