Physical Acoustics Group

The Physical Acoustics Group was formed in 1984 to foster the many aspects of physical acoustics and ultrasonics that contribute to fundamental science and its applications.

It is a joint group of The Institute of Physics and The Institute of Acoustics and maintain close links with the Materials and Testing Group of the Institute and with the British Institute of NDT and the IEE.

Fundamental aspects of acoustic wave propagation and the interaction of acoustic waves with matter have importance in fields as diverse as physics and phonon seismology. Ultrasonic wave generation, propagation and attenuation provide compositional and structural information in gases, liquids and solids. There is increasing interest in ultrasonic wave scattering in inhomogeneous materials varying from sea-bed sediments, modern (composite) materials, through foodstuffs to biological tissues, which provides the basic physics of ultrasonic testing and imaging. Other test techniques include photo-acoustics, acoustical microscopy and acoustic emission. Crucial to the exploitation of these methods in a quantitative scientific manner is the successful development of devices which generate and detect acoustic waves.

One of the most important activities of the Group is the Annual Anglo-French Meeting which provides an informal forum in which the current activity in physical acoustics and ultrasonics in the UK and France is reviewed. In addition the Group organizes or co-sponsors other meetings on specific topics in the field. Recent subjects have included ultrasonic studies of bone, acoustic microscopy and the contactless generation and detection of ultrasound.

The Group produces an annual newsletter which includes details of meetings, not only of the Group but also of other organizations. Thus the Group acts as a focus of discussion between theoreticians and experimentalists from a wide range of institutions with particular interest in improving the scientific basis of technological developments.

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