This doctoral thesis describes the investigation carried out by the author in pursuit of a
better understanding of the mechanism of cavitation.
To create cavitation bubbles under laboratory conditions, an intense Q-switched
Nd:YAG laser was used and the event was captured using a high-speed photography
system. Three different aspects concerning the cavitation phenomenon were studied
and they were the propagation of acoustic waves in a liquid, the resultant stress waves
in a nearby solid medium and the interactions between a bubble and the nearby
boundary. Optical measurement techniques, based on Mach-Zehnder interferometry,
shadowgraphy, Schlieren photography and photoelasticity, were employed to assist the
observation and analysis of a cavitation event. [Continues.]
A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy at Loughborough University.