Acoustically forced oscillation of spherical gas bubbles in a viscoelastic material is studied through comparisons between experiments and linear theory. An experimental setup has been designed to visualize bubble dynamics in gelatin gels using a high-speed camera. A spherical gas bubble is created by focusing an infrared laser pulse into (gas-supersaturated) gelatin gels. The bubble radius (up to 150 μm) under mechanical equilibrium is controlled by gradual mass transfer of gases across the bubble interface. The linearized bubble dynamics are studied from the observation of spherical bubble oscillation driven by low-intensity, planar ultrasound driven at 28 kHz. It follows from the experiment for an isolated bubble that the frequency response in its volumetric oscillation was shifted to the high frequency side and its peak was suppressed as the gelatin concentration increases. The measurement is fitted to the linearized Rayleigh–Plesset equation coupled with the Voigt constitutive equation that models the behavior of linear viscoelastic solids; the fitting yields good agreement by tuning unknown values of the viscosity and rigidity, indicating that more complex phenomena including shear thinning, stress relaxation, and retardation do not play an important role for the small-amplitude oscillations. Moreover, the cases for bubble-bubble and bubble-wall systems are studied. The observed interaction effect on the linearized dynamics can be explained as well by a set of the Rayleigh–Plesset equations coupled through acoustic radiation among these systems. This suggests that this experimental setup can be applied to validate the model of bubble dynamics with more complex configuration such as a cloud of bubbles in viscoelastic materials.

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