The present chapter is about the Flash and Splash project, which is dedicated to the study of bubble dynamics in microgravity. The story of this project started in 2004 with a simple curiosity on how a cavitation bubble may behave within a water drop and evolved into an outstanding, internationally renowned science project as well as a wonderful human adventure. So far, we have participated in nine European Space Agency (ESA) parabolic flight campaigns (PFC) and made a significant progress in understanding the cavitation phenomenon. First, we investigated the dynamics of a cavitation bubble within a water drop and learned how the collapse may lead to the formation of a double jet. We discovered the formation of secondary cavitation due to the confinement of shockwaves within the drop. We used this result to propose a new path for erosion due to a high-speed impact of water drops on a solid surface. Then, we addressed the effect of gravity on bubble dynamics and came up with a unified framework to explain and predict key phenomena, such as microjets, shockwaves and luminescence. Parabolic flights gave us the unique opportunity to modulate the gravity-induced pressure gradient, which is crucial for the fate of a collapsing bubble.
Part of the book: Preparation of Space Experiments