read about acoustics

Read about acoustics

Do you want to learn about past research or ongoing projects? Check out these free resources and read about acoustics!

Acoustics Today

This quarterly magazine contains tutorials, technical articles, ASA news, and more. The pieces in the magazine are aimed at people with a general background in acoustics, but might not be versed in the particular featured subject. Read about acoustics from any issue here.


Lay Language Papers

Lay language papers are short versions of papers and talks presented at Annual Meetings of the Acoustical Society of America. Please keep in mind that some of the research described in the lay papers may not have yet been peer reviewed. See all papers here.

Listening to Antarctic Ice Breaking from Australia

An analysis of 7-year long recordings of sea noise made at the CTBT underwater station off Cape Leeuwin in Western Australia has shown that Antarctica is the major source of low-frequency noise in the Southern Ocean and southern parts of the Indian Ocean. Two different kinds of signals arriving at the Cape Leeuwin station from Eastern Antarctica can generally be distinguished. The most amazing of them are iceberg songs, which are very-low-frequency, from about 3 Hz to 10 Hz multi-harmonic signals lasting sometimes for several hours and which are supposed to be produced by vibrations of the iceberg plate after collision with the seafloor, ice shelf or another iceberg.

The Casual Greeting Doesn’t Travel Far When You’re a Bottlenose Dolphin

Many animals, from grasshoppers in a small field to baleen whales in the open ocean, use acoustic signals to find or attract conspecifics and potential mates, and the farther away you can make yourself heard, the better the odds are for finding mates and transmitting your genes into the next generation. Other animals, such as some primates, birds and meerkats, live in groups where most animals can forage while a few individuals keep watch for predators and raise the alarm in case of danger. Obviously, the distance that these calls are heard plays an important role in group organization and likely places an upper boundary on the dispersion of the group, decreasing foraging competition within the group if alarm calls travel farther and group is more dispersed.

Physics of Stringed Instruments

Our objectives for this project include an in depth analysis of the properties of stringed instruments. We strived to understand how different stringed instruments function individually, and how instruments differ in their sound and function. Stringed instruments create the sound in three phases: (i) the source or string, (ii) the medium or body and (iii) the interface, which is the oscillation of the air around the body. These elements interact to create the sound we hear in each instrument.

Inventing a New Musical Instrument Before You Are 20 Years Old

Students had to ensure the instruments played notes of the Western musical scale and that the timbres of the instruments allowed them to be played together in an ensemble. Finally, the students were required to compose original music for ensembles of these instruments and play them in a public concert in the college’s concert hall.

Time Reversal of Ultrasonic Waves in Solids

Acoustic Tim-Reversal-Mirrors (TRM) are, among many other applications, powerful instruments to detect defects in solid materials. Their ability to focus automatically on cracks makes them the most performant ultrasonic devices in this domain. In this paper, we prove that a simultaneous focalization of the different kinds of waves in the solid (transverse and longitudinal waves) can be obtained with such Time-Reversal-Mirrors.