Recent work on single-bubble sonoluminescence (SBSL) has shown that many features of this phenomenon, especially the dependence of SBSL intensity and stability on experimental parameters, can be explained within a hydrodynamic approach. More specifically, many important properties can be derived from an analysis of bubble wall dynamics. This dynamics is conveniently described by the Rayleigh–Plesset (RP) equation. Here we derive analytical approximations for RP dynamics and subsequent analytical laws for parameter dependences. These results include (i) an expression for the onset threshold of SL, (ii) an analytical explanation of the transition from diffusively unstable to stable equilibria for the bubble ambient radius (unstable and stable sonoluminescence), and (iii) a detailed understanding of the resonance structure of the RP equation. It is found that the threshold for SL emission is shifted to larger bubble radii and larger driving pressures if surface tension is increased, whereas even a considerable change in liquid viscosity leaves this threshold virtually unaltered. As an enhanced viscosity stabilizes the bubbles to surface oscillations, we conclude that the ideal liquid for violently collapsing, surface-stable SL bubbles should have small surface tension and large viscosity, although too large viscosity (ηl[ges ]40ηwater) will again preclude collapses.
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