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Author Topic: Nerdy Post - Sonic weaponary on...Shrimp.  (Read 1110 times)

Nerdy Post - Sonic weaponary on...Shrimp.
« on: July 13, 2007, 03:21:56 AM »
Got bored and surfed the Net on "Ultrasound", a topic picked up while chatting with an online friend.

In an attempt to disgust my friend, I've decided to look for the name and description of that gooey slime substance which was often used as coating for acoustic resonance prior to ultrasound scanning.

That search had me stumbled upon this bizarre phenomenon known as Sonoluminescence. In short, producing light from imploding bubbles excited by acoustic pulses (sound):
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sonoluminescence

The above article lead me upon this amazing section about Shrimpoluminescence. Translated, light produced by Shrimps? WTF?! And hence enter the snapping shrimp AKA pistol shrimp:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pistol_shrimp

Incredibly, the pistol shrimp "shoots" their prey using sonic shock waves produced by their claw snaps. The first video link caters for the general public while the second is for nerds like me:



Shrimpoluminescence was discovered in October 2001, so do pardon my ignorance if this subject has become old news. Otherwise, do enjoy the clips.

*** Optional Nerd Stuff ***
Digging further into the concept of how the pistol shrimp managed to incapacitate its prey brought me to the phenomenon, Cavitation.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cavitation

With my limited understanding of Physics and from what was written on the article, the pistol shrimp's snapper claw is able to produce a jet stream flow of water so fast that the vapor pressure in the bubble produced is relatively much lower than the surrounding waters. This bubble of low vapor content thus begins to collapse due to the heavier surrounding medium pressing in. The compression causes the pressure and temperature to raise and till it attains a critical point, a violent implosion occurs releasing heat, sound and light. The heat produced by the encapsulated vapor was hypothesized to be near the surface of the sun (several thousand Kelvins), pressure accumulated prior to implosion is around several hundred times Earth's atmospheric pressure.

All this devastation scaled down to shrimp size, the cavitation damage from the pistol shrimp is enough to blast through a small crab's carapace armor. Interestingly enough, from Leah's post about kidney stones, doctors uses the same cavitation concepts to disintegrate kidney stones without surgery through acoustic means (Lithotripsy).
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Quackky »
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