Ultrasound

Ultrasound or ultrasonic waves are sound waves with frequencies above 20,000 Hz. These waves are undetectable by humans as they lie above the audible range.

Ultrasonic waves have high frequencies and short wavelengths.

We know that the velocity of sound waves in air is 330 m/s. Therefore for an audible sound with frequency 1000 Hz we can calculate the wavelength using the wave equation:

velocity = wavelength x frequency

Rearranging equation,

wavelength = velocity/frequency

wavelength = 330/1000

wavelength = 0.33m

However, if the sound is in the ultrasonic range for example 100,000 Hz then the wavelength can be calculated as:

wavelength = 330/100000

wavelength = 0.0033 m = 0.33 cm

Hence the ultrasonic wave with is shorter wavelength can be transmitted as a beam and undergoes little diffraction; these properties of ultrasound are put to use in various applications.