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Nonlinear acoustics, Piezoelectric transducers, Ultrasonic waves, Light -- Diffraction


The measurement of the acoustic pressure of a planar ultrasonic wave by light diffraction is well established. The ability to do similar measurements in the case of spherical waves has been doubted. However, we show that the range of validity can be extended to the focal region of a spherical concave piezoelectric transducer. Light is passed through the focal plane of a spherical concave transducer and is diffracted as a result of the variation in the index of refraction. The peak pressure can be calculated from the diffraction intensity by making the following simplification. We assume that in the focal plane the ultrasound can be approximated by a profiled planar wave, which in turn can be modeled by a wave of constant amplitude and effective width. The experimental results for moderate-pressure amplitudes in water compare favorably with the calculations using the Khokhlov-Zabolotskaya-Kuznetsov equation, which incorporates both nonlinearity and diffraction effects of the acoustic field.


This is the publisher's final pdf. Article appears in Journal of Applied Physics ( and is copyrighted (1992) by the American Institute of Physics. This article may be downloaded for personal use only. Any other use requires prior permission of the author and the American Institute of Physics



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