The Bubble Challenge for High-Speed Photography

  • Werner LauterbornEmail author
  • Thomas Kurz


Bubbles in liquids show a rich set of phenomena ranging from harmless gaseous bubbles rising in a liquid to almost empty cavitation bubbles responsible for the destruction of ship propellers. A special property of bubbles are the extremely high-speed liquid flows they enable by providing almost empty space for acceleration. Thus bubble dynamics presents a challenge for proper investigation, in particular high-speed liquid jet formation and shock wave radiation. One tool developed to study fast dynamics is high-speed photography with suitable cameras. The gradual approach to resolve bubble dynamics, in particular bubble collapse, via ever too slow cameras up to the state of the art of some hundred million frames per second is reviewed. Some ideas on the numerical extension of camera speed limits are put forward. Moreover, the first historic steps into getting three-dimensional images recorded via high-speed holography with up to some hundred thousand holograms per second are reported.

Supplementary material

421713_1_En_2_MOESM1_ESM.avi (2.2 mb)
Stereoscopic view of bubble motion in an ultrasonic field. Viewing angle between the two cameras = 35.4°, ultrasonic frequency = 22.8 kHz, pressure amplitude = 132 kPa, frame size: 1 cm × 1 cm per camera, frame rate: 2250 fps, exposure time: 440 μs (AVI 2302 kb)
421713_1_En_2_MOESM2_ESM.avi (3.5 mb)
Tracking of individual bubbles in Video 2.1. Different bubbles are marked by different colors. The data serve for determining their 3D positions. The data also serve for determining velocities of the bubbles (AVI 3563 kb)

A 3D plot of the bubble positions from Video 2.1 according to the identification in Video 2.2 and their pathways. The rotation is for better perception of the overall 3D bubble arrangement. It is inhomogeneous and forms a network of branches (called streamers) (AVI 1003 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Drittes Physikalisches InstitutGeorg-August-Universität GöttingenGöttingenGermany

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