Acoustic Propagation

  • Whitlow W.L. Au
  • Mardi C. Hastings
Part of the Modern Acoustics and Signal Processing book series (MASP)

Basic Principles

We discussed in Chapter 1 the fact that sound consists of mechanical vibrations that travel as a wave. It will not propagate in a vacuum, but requires some material to act on for transmission. The medium for propagation can be either solid or fluid. In fluids such as water and air the propagation is only longitudinal because fluids cannot support shear wave and so the fluid particles vibrate along the direction of energy propagation. Sound is usually considered to be just a pressure wave, primarily because pressure is an easily measured quantity; however, sound has various other descriptors. If pressure changes locally in a fluid, the temperature and density will also change. Thus temperature and density are also acoustic variables. In addition, we showed in Chapter 1 that propagation of sound has a vector description, meaning that both magnitude and direction are associated with the acoustic particle velocity, displacement and acceleration. All acoustic quantities,...


Mixed Layer Particle Velocity Sound Velocity Sound Pressure Level Acoustic Field 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Hawaii Institute of Marine BiologyUniversity of HawaiiKaneoheUSA
  2. 2.Applied Research LaboratoryPenn State UniversityUSA

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