We have demonstrated experimentally the existence of a giant frequency down-conversion of the translational oscillatory motion of individual submillimeter acoustic bubbles in water in the presence of a high frequency (500 kHz) ultrasonic standing wave. The frequency of the translational oscillations (∼170 Hz) is more than three orders of magnitude smaller than that of the driving acoustic wave. We elucidate the mechanism of this very slow oscillation with an analytical model leading to an equation of translational motion of a bubble taking the form of Mathieu's equation. This equation illuminates the origin of the giant down conversion in frequency as arising from an unstable equilibrium. We also show that bubbles that form chains along the direction of the acoustic standing wave due to radiation interaction forces exhibit also translation oscillations that form a spectral band. This band extends approximately from 130 Hz up to nearly 370 Hz, a frequency range that is still at least three orders of magnitude lower than the frequency of the driving acoustic wave.
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