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Chapter 4

Vibration, wave motion and sound

4.1 Simple harmonic motion (SHM)

4.1.1 Equation of SHM

1. Definition of SHM

Simple harmonic force: The force on a body is proportional to its displacement from the

origin and always directed towards the origin. If we choose the direction of displacement as

the x-axis, the equation is given by

F = - k x,

(4.1)

the minus sign denotes that the force is a restoring

force and always points to the origin (x = 0).

SHM If a body moves in a straight line under

x

the simple harmonic force, the motion of the

body is called simple harmonic motion.

Fig. 4.1 vibrational motion

2. Equation of SHM

Generally a Hookes law spring satisfies the equation (4.1), but k is called spring constant. If

a bodys mass is m and it is exerted by a simple harmonic force, its equation of motion can be

obtained by using Newtons second law of motion

d 2x

F ma m 2 .

dt

On the other hand, considering eq. (4.1), we have

d 2x

d 2x

k

m 2 kx

or

x

2

dt

dt

m

2

Define = k/m and we have

d 2x

2x 0

2

dt

(4.2)

This is the differential equation of the simple harmonic motion. Its solution can be expressed

as

x A cos(t )

(4.3)

The motion described by a cosine or sine function of time is called Simple Harmonic Motion.

It is necessary to point out that the two definitions for SHM are the equivalent. One is from

the force type and the other is from the equation of motion.

Differentiating the equation (4.3) with respect to t, the velocity and acceleration of the

SHM can be obtained.

36

dx

d

[ A cos(t )]

dt

dt

d

d

d

A (cos ) A

(cos )

dt

d

dt

A( sin )

A sin(t )

(set t )

(4.4)

d 2 x dv

d

a

A (sin )

2

dt

dt

dt

d

d

A

(sin )

d

dt

A (cos )

A 2 cos(t )

2 x

(4.5)

It can be proved that the equation (4.5) is equivalent to the equations (4.2) and (4.3).

Therefore the equation (4.3) is indeed the solution of (4.2).

In the equation of SHM, A, and are constants and any individual SHM can be determined

by them.

1. A is called Amplitude ().

It is the maximum displacement of a vibrating body from equilibrium position.

2. Period and frequency

The period, denoted by T, is the time taken for a complete vibration which is

independent of the position chosen for the starting point of the complete vibration.

The frequency, denoted by f, is the number of complete vibrations per second, it is

the reciprocal () of the period

f

1

T

(4.6)

2

2f

T

(4.7)

In the equation of SHM, t + is called the phase of SHM, where is the phase at t = 0,

called initial phase (unit radian). At t = 0, equations (4,3) and (4.4) becomes respectively

x 0 A cos

(4.8)

v 0 A sin

Squaring both sides of the above equations, the amplitude of the SHM can be found

x02 A 2 cos 2

v 02 2 A 2 sin 2

v02

A 2 (cos 2 sin 2 ) A 2

2

v02

m v02

2

2

.

(4.9)

A x0 2 x0

k

On the other hand, the initial phase can also be worked out from equation (4.8),

mathematically,

x02

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v0

tan

x0

so we have

v

arctan 0

(4.10)

x 0

Example 4-1. A particle with mass m = 2.00 10-2 kg is in SHM at the end of a spring with

spring constant k = 50.0 N/m. The initial displacement and velocity of the particle is 3.00

10-2 m and 1.32 m/s respectively. Calculate (1) the angular frequency; (2) the initial phase;

(3) the amplitude of the vibration; (4) the period; (5) the frequency.

Solution: In order to solve the problem, we have to be clear what things have been given in

the problem? That is the known conditions.

The quantities we know are:

m = 2.00 10-2 kg

k = 50.0 N/m

x0 = 3.00 10-2 m

v0 = 1.32 m/s

Now using the formulae we have learned, the problem can be solved easily.

(1). In order to find the angular frequency, the formula representing the relation among the

angular frequency, mass and spring constant has to be used. We have

k

50.0

50.0 rad / s

m

2.00 10 2

(2). The initial phase of the vibration can be found using the initial displacement and initial

velocity. At t = 0, we know

x0 = A cos = 3.00 10-2 m

v0 = - A w sin = -1.32 m/s

The can be obtained by solving above equations. On the other hand, it can be calculated

directly by eq. (4.10)

v

1.32

arctan 0 arctan

41.3

2

3.00 10 50.0

x0

(3). The amplitude can be calculated by the formula

v 02

4.00 10 2 m

2

between the angular frequency and the period;

A x02

2

2

0.126 s

50.0

f = 1/T = 1/0.126 = 7.94 Hz

M0

t+

Consider a vector A to rotate ()

around point O with a constant

angular velocity . Suppose that

its initial position is OM0 and the

P0

38

angle between A and x-axis is t+.

When M moves in a circle motion, we

Could show that the motion of P is the same as

that of a body moving under the influence of an elastic restoring force in the absence of

friction. i.e. the projecting point P on x-axis moves in SHM.

The displacements of P at any time t is the distance OP or x; from Fig. 4.2. It is easy to

find that the equation of motion of the point P at any moment is

x = A cos ( t+).

It is the equation of SHM.

4.1.4 The energy of SHM

When particles exert a SHM, the kinetic energy and potential energy are transformed each

other based on the positions of the particle. For a spring vibrator, F = -k x, the expressions of

kinetic energy and potential energy of the system are given by

1

1

mv 2 m 2 A 2 sin 2 (t )

2

2

1

1

E p kx 2 m 2 A 2 cos 2 (t )

2

2

Ek

(4.11a)

(4.11b)

The total energy of the system does not change with time. Therefore, it is conservative! The

total mechanic energy of the vibrating system is conservative in the process of harmonic

motion. This result is valid to all SHM systems.

Ek E p

1

1

m 2 A 2 kA 2

2

2

(4.12)

(4.11)

Real vibrating systems have damped force and friction.

Simple harmonic motion is only an ideal model. In the system, the net force (harmonic force)

has to be proportional to the displacement. The friction and other damped forces are ignored.

Hence, the amplitude is constant and the vibration agrees with energy conservation principle.

But in real vibrating system, the friction and other damped forces are unavoidable (inevitable,

). Therefore, the mechanical energy and amplitude of the vibration will decrease

gradually. This kind of vibration is called damped vibration or damped Harmonic motion.

Experiments show that when an object moves at a medium or lower speed, the damped force

is proportional to the speed of the object but in an opposite direction to its velocity. The

magnitude of the damped force is described by a damped factor, denoted by . When the

damped force is small, the period of the damped vibration is given by

T

(4.13)

2

2

0

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Medical Physics

It can be deduced that because of the damped factor, the period is getting longer and the

frequency (f = 1/T) of the system is become smaller. That is the vibration goes slower. The

properties in such a case can be summarized as follows:

Due to the damped force,

(1). The mechanical energy1 becomes smaller;

(2). The amplitude decreases;

(3). The period increases but not with time;

(4). The frequency decreases;

(5). Vibration goes slower.

4.2.2 The forced vibration

The forced vibration is defined as the vibration exerted by an external periodic force. Assume

that the exerted periodic force is

F = Fm cos(t),

(4.14)

where Fm is the amplitude of the external force, is the angular frequency of the force.

When vibration is steady, the periodic force does work and puts in energy that is just

equal to the lost energy due to the resistance. The equation of motion is given by

x A cos(t ,

(Tell student how to derive the following quantities.) The characteristic quantities of the

vibration can also be derived,

2

Fm

A

, arctan 2

(4.15)

2 .

2

0

m 2 2 4 2 2

0

So we conclude that the vibrating system is also vibratory but with the frequency of the

external force. The amplitude of the forced vibration depends on Fm, angular frequency of the

force, proper () frequency of the system and damped factor (or coefficient).

4.2.3 Resonance ()

When the frequency of the external force approaches to the proper frequency of the vibrating

system, the amplitude of the forced

vibration will increase rapidly. This

phenomenon is known as resonance.

Mathematically we have

resonance 02 2 2

(4.16)

Fm

Aresonance

(4.17)

2m 02 2

A

Note that when 0, the resonance

frequency is equal to the proper frequency

of the system and the amplitude of the

forced vibration approaches infinity.

1

: Mechanical energy is the kinetic energy plus all of the kinds of potential energies that are present.

as a function of

external force frequency.

40

If a point mass is in several SHMs, its state of motion should be described by the addition

of SHM.

The displacement of the net vibration () can be obtained by the summation of

every component () of the vibrational reference vectors ().

Lets consider some special and simple cases.

4.3.1 The addition of the two vibrations with same direction and same frequency

1. The equation of compositive vibrations

Now we are considering that a point mass moves in two SHMs on a line and these two

SHMs have the same vibratory direction and identical frequency.

As the two vibrations can have different magnitudes and different initial phase. So they

have individual reference circle of their own.

Suppose that at some instant, the displacements of the two vibrations respectively are

Since the x1 and x2 are on the same line (called x-axis), the total displacement should be the

addition of x1 and x2 (see Figure on the next page) i. e.

x1 A1 cos(t 1 ),

x 2 A2 cos(t 2 ).

The resultant vibration can be described by x, the sum of x1 and x2,

x cos t ( A1 cos 1 A2 cos 2 ) sin t ( A1 sin 1 A2 sin 2 )

A cos(t )

As the two vibrations have the same frequency, the reference vectors A1 and A2 will rotate at

the same angular velocity.

y0 A sin y10 y 20

Therefore, A1 and A2 will

have the same angle between

A1 sin 1 A2 sin 2

them (see Fig. 4.4). The

result of the two rotating

vectors should be equivalent

A2

to the compositive vector A

of the two vectors which

A1

y10

rotates in the same angular

velocity.

From figure 4.4 we

could obtain the x-component

of A is

x 0 A cos

x10 x 20

A1 cos 1 A2 cos 2

2

x20

y20

x10

Therefore,

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Medical Physics

x x1 x 2

A1 cos(t 1 ) A2 cos(t 2 )

A1 (cos t cos 1 sin t sin 1 ) A2 (cos t cos 2 sin t sin 2 )

cos t ( A1 cos 1 A2 cos 2 ) sin t ( A1 sin 1 A2 sin 2 )

The above result shows that the compositive vibration of the two SHM is also simple

harmonic motion. It has the same angular frequency and a new initial phase factor and a new

amplitude. The phase factor and the new amplitude can be calculated as follows:

2. The amplitude and the initial phase factor of the compositive vibration

Using Pythagorean theorem, the magnitude of the new vibration is given by

A

x 02 y 02

A12 A22 2 A1 A2 cos 1 2

y

A sin 1 A2 sin 2

tan 0 1

x 0 A1 cos 1 A2 cos 2

These two parameters can be determined by the initial conditions only.

(4.18)

(4.19)

3. Discussions

The compositive () vibration is not only a SHM but also its frequency is still the

same as those of the component vibrations.

The amplitude and phase of the resultant vibration depend on the amplitudes and initial

phases of the two vibrations.

Two special cases

(1) 1 - 2 = 2k (k = 0, 1, 2, )

Substituting the condition into eq. (4.18), the amplitude can be obtained

A

A12 A22 2 A1 A2

A1 A2

This means that when the initial two vibrations are in phase, the compositive amplitude is in

its maximum status.

(2) 1 - 2 = (2k+1) (k = 0, 1, 2, )

In such a case, the amplitude can be calculated using eq. (4.18) as follows:

A

A12 A22 2 A1 A2

| A1 A2 |

This means that when the two initial SHMs are out of phase, the sum amplitude is minimum.

4.3.2 The composition of the two vibrations with the same direction and different

frequency

42

If the component vibrations have different frequency, the two rotating reference vectors A1

and A2 will have different angular velocity. So the angle between the two reference vectors

will be a function of time, not depending on the amplitudes and initial phases of A1 and A2 .

And also, the amplitude of the compositive vibration will change with time.

though the composite vibration is not SHM, it can still be periodic vibration as long as the

ratio of the two frequencies is an integer or the inverse of the ratio is an integral fraction. This

means that there exists a common basic frequency between the two frequencies. Any of them

divided by the fundamental frequency will give a pure integer (see English text books for an

example on page 59).

4.3.3 Vibrational spectrum ()

Opposite to the composition of the SHM, any complicated, periodic vibration can be

separated into a series of SHM. In other word, any complicated periodic function can be

expressed by Fourier Series as:

f (t ) A0 A1 cos t A2 cos 2t B1 sin t B2 sin 2t

n 0

n 0

A0 An cos nt Bn sin nt

(4.20)

Where An and Bn are Fourier Constants. These constants can be determined mathematically.

This procedure is called Spectral analysis (). Read your Chinese textbook to get

some general concept about the applications of spectral analysis.

4.3.4 The composition () of two vibrations with the same frequency but orthogonal

() directions.

Assume that an object moves in two SHM in a mutually perpendicular ()

direction and these two SHMs have the same frequency.

Suppose that the two vibrations are along x-axis and y-axis respectively and then the

vibrational equations can be written as

x A1 cos(t 1 )

(4.21)

y A2 cos(t 2 )

In order to find the real path of the object in x-y plane, we have to delete t from the above

equations of the simple harmonic motion and then the orbital equation of the object can be

obtained.

x2

y2

2 xy

cos( 2 1 ) sin 2 ( 2 1 )

(4.22)

2

2

A1

A2 A1 A2

Generally the above equation is an elliptic () equation. Lets have a look at some

special cases:

(1). If 2 - 1 = 2 k

(k = 0, 1, 2, ), then we have

2

2

x

y

2 xy

2

0

2

A1

A2 A1 A2

This equation can also be written as

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Medical Physics

x

y

A1 A2

y

x

y

0

A1 A2

A2

x

A1

This is a typical line equation which goes through the origin point (0,0) with slope of A2/A1.

(2). If 2 - 1 = (2 k+1)

(k = 0, 1, 2, ), the equation (4.22) becomes

x

y

A1 A2

0 y

A2

x

A1

(3). If 2 - 1 = (2 k+1) /2 (k = 0, 2, 4, ), the equation (4.22) becomes

x2

y2

1

A12 A22

When A1 = A2, it is a circle equation. In this case, from the equations of SHM, we know that

the object moves in clockwise () direction, while

If 2 - 1 = (2 k+1) /2 (k = 1, 3, 5, ), the equation (4.22) is the as above and the end of

vibrating vector will rotate anti-clockwise ().

Do you know how we can prove whether the rotation is clockwise or anti-clockwise? Here is

an example: Suppose that the initial phase on x-axis is zero and the initial phase of y-axis

vibration is /2. This is the case of

2 - 1 = /2

Considering the simultaneous equations

x A1 cos(t 1 ) A1 cos t

y A cos(t ) A cos(t )

2

2

2

2

For simplicity, if we suppose = 1/s, x and y can be found

as follows x = cos(t), y = cos(t+ /2); (This is the third case discussed above and it rotates

clockwise.)

Coordinates\time

x = cos(t)

y = cos(t+ /2)

t = /3

1/2

-sqrt(3)/2

t=0

1

0

t = /2

0

-1

4.4.1 Mechanical Wave ( )

Mechanical wave is related to elastic medium ( ). A point mass vibrates due to a

disturbance and the vibration propagates () near to far in the elastic medium because of

44

the connection of the elastic forces. The propagating process of mechanical vibration in the

elastic medium is called Mechanical wave.

1. The production ( ) of mechanical wave requires (1) the mechanical vibrating object

which is called the source of wave () 2The elastic medium which can propagate

such mechanical vibrations.

If the mechanical vibration is SHM, its propagating process () is called Simple Harmonic

Wave. For example, if you hold one end of a long rope () with other end fixed and wave

your hand up and down frequently, the vibration will propagate along the rope. Now your

hand is the source of the wave and the rope is the elastic medium.

2. Wave front and wave line

(1) Wave front ()

For the propagation of a wave, at fixed time, the wave front is a group of point masses in

phase in their SHM and it moves forward when time goes by.

(2). Wave line: the wave line expresses the direction of wave propagation.

3. The characteristic quantities () of a simple harmonic wave

(1). The wave amplitude ()

A is the maximum displacement of the string ( ) from the center position. It is the

amplitude of the SHM carried out by each piece () of the string.

(2). The wave period () T is the period of the SHM carried out by each piece of

the string. It is the time interval ( ) between the two corresponding points ( ) on

the displacement-versus-time graph ( ). These two points are in the exactly

same vibrating state.

(3). The wave frequency () f is the number of vibrations per second by each piece

of the string. It is related to the period by:

f

1

f

(4). The wave length ( ) is the distance between two adjacent ( )

corresponding points on the wave shape. e.g. between two wave crests ( ) or two troughs

(). These two points have a phase difference () of 2.

displacement

Wave crest ()

A

x

distance

Trough ()

wavelength, frequencies, period and so on.

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(5). The wave velocity v is the velocity of the progression () of the wave shape. The

distance from crest to crest is , and the time period of the progression taken is T, so the

velocity of the wave progression should be

v f

(4.23)

T

4.4.2 Transverse and longitudinal waves ()

1. Transverse wave ()

The direction of SHM of the medium is perpendicular to the direction of the wave

propagation. Such wave is called transverse wave. Example can be a wave propagating on a

string. Any medium which has shear modulus can propagate transverse waves (which will talk

in the third part of this subsection). Generally speaking, liquid and air cannot transmit

transverse waves but water waves contain the part of transverse waves.

2. Longitudinal wave ()

The direction of the medium occurs in the same direction as the direction of the wave

propagation, the wave is called longitudinal. In such cases. The progression of the wave is

based on the compression () and expansion () of the medium. Figure 4.6 shows that

a tuning fork produces sound wave which propagates in air. The air molecules are compressed

or pulled apart regularly. Their changes are from time to time and each air molecule vibrates

about its position of equilibrium. Its pressure changes at a particular position are expressed in

Figure 4.7.

Fig. 4.6 the sound wave produced by a tuning fork and propagates in air.

46

(1). Gas and liquid medium ():

Generally speaking, in the fluid medium, only longitudinal wave can propagate and its

velocity is

v

(4.24a)

(2). Solid medium

(i). For transverse wave, we have

v

(4.24b)

(ii). For longitudinal waves, we have

v

(4.24c)

Y is Yongs modulus of the medium which is the ratio of the stress and strain (

). Here the only thing we have to know is that the velocity of waves depends on the

properties of the medium. As the wave period T does not change with time, the wavelength l

will change with medium variation.

It is known that the SHM of a point mass can be described by the equation of SHM. This

equation can give the state () of the point mass at any moment. As the simple harmonic

waves are the propagation of the SHM every point mass on the propagation direction

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experiences the simple harmonic motion. The wave equation of motion we try to setup should

not only be able to describe the vibrations of all the particles composing the wave

but also give the relationship of cause and effect () between points on the wave.

Suppose that a simple harmonic wave propagates undiminishedly () along x-direction

at the speed of v and at point O, the vibrational equation of the point mass is given by

s A cos(t )

is the initial phase and A is the amplitude and is its angular frequency. Considering the

vibration at point O propagates to Point P, suppose that the wave velocity is v, then the time

taken from O to P should be

s

tp

OP x

.

v

v

mass at P will delay the period x/v.

So the equation of the SHM at point P

should be

x

S A cos t

(4.25a)

v

O

x

This is the equation of wave motion as the displacement at point P is the function of time and

position of the point mass. It is really the vibrational equation of motion at point P. But as

point P can be any point on the wave line, so this equation can describe the motion of any

point mass on the wave direction. This is one of the properties of the equation of the wave

motion. The initial phase can be chosen as zero and using = 2/T, = v T, we have

2

t x

s A cos 2

A cos t

x

(4.25b)

T

Define the wave number k = 2 / and we have the frequently used form of wave equation:

s A cos t kx

(4.25c)

This equation of wave motion describes the wave propagating along positive x-direction. If

the wave moves along the negative () direction of x-axis, the equation becomes

s A cos t kx

(4.25d)

Example 4-2. A source of wave moves in SHM. Its equation of motion is s = 0.04 cos(2.5t)

(m). This wave propagates in a medium along positive x-direction at the speed of 100 m s-1.

Try to find: (1) wave equation of motion; (2) the displacement and velocity of the point mass

which is 20 meters away from the wave source at the time of 1.0 second after the wave source

starts its motion.

Solution: (1)

Wave source vibration

x

s A cos t

s A cos t

v

Comparing this equation with the one given s = 0.04 cos(2.5t) in the problem, we have

A = 0.04 (m), w = 2.5 (rad/s), = 0, vwave = 100 ms-1. So the equation of wave motion can

be obtained

48

100

(2) Find displacement and velocity. Substituting the x = 20 meters and t = 1 second into the

wave equation, we have

20

0.04 cos 2.0 0.04

100

ds d

x

vvibration

A cos t

dt dt

v

x

A sin t v

20

0

100

Here we can see that the vibrating velocity of point mass and the propagating velocity of the

wave are total different concepts. The vibrating velocity is a function of time while the

velocity of wave propagating in a medium is a constant in a particular medium which depends

on the property of the medium.

4.6.1 Wave energy

The propagation of wave is actually the propagation of energy. In the medium, the wave

energy in a volume DV can be calculated as follows.

The mass in V is V = m. The kinetic energy is given by

1

ds

Ek m

2

dt

1

2

mvvib

2

(4.26a)

Ep

1 ds

Y

2 dx

(4.26b)

the relation among the density of the medium, the wave velocity and Yongs modulus Y =

v2, and k = 2/ =2/vT = /v into the above equations, we have

Ek E p

1

VA 2 2 sin 2 t kx

2

Etotal Ek E p VA 2 2 sin 2 t kx

E

E total A2 2 sin 2 t kx

V

(4.27)

E

1

A2 2

2

(4.28)

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This formula is valid not only for transverse but also for longitudinal waves.

4.6.2 The intensity () of wave

The intensity of wave is defined as the average propagating energy of wave per unit time per

unit area, across the surface perpendicular to the direction of propagation. As we know, the

wave energy (E) in a particular volume is proportional to its volume size, equal to the average

energy in this volume times the volume (V). That is

E EV .

Thinking the wave motion as the liquid flow, during the unit time, i.e. within one second, then

you may ask how much liquid could flow to the other side of the unit-cross-section? It is easy

to work out if we know the speed of liquid flow as during the t period, there is a volume vt of

liquid flowing to the other side of the unit area. Therefore in unit time, the medium that joins

the wave motion has a volume of v in number, and contains the wave energy of E v which is

actually the average propagating energy of wave per unit time per unit area. So the intensity

of wave is given by

I Ev

1

2 A2 v

2

It is proportional to the density of the medium, to the square of wave frequency and

magnitude and to the speed of wave as well.

The intensity of wave attenuates in its propagation and the amplitude of the wave will become

smaller and smaller with the wave propagation. The reasons for this are quite simple. One is

the internal friction which transfers the wave energy into other kinds of energy and the other

reason is wave spreading ().

The attenuation is different in different medium. There is a particular parameter () to

describe the speed of attenuation for each medium. This parameter is called the absorption

coefficient of medium, demoted by m. The result is

I I 0 e x

where I0 is the intensity of wave at x = 0 and I is the density at the distance of x from x = 0.

In medium, any point mass vibration causes the vibration of its immediate neighbors. So this

point can be regarded as a wave source. And Huygens principle is based on this idea. Every

point on a wave front can be regarded as a new point source for waves generated in the

direction of the wave propagation.

4.8.1 Superposition principle of waves

50

Experiments show that several waves from different sources can propagate in the same

medium independently. Each wave can keep its own feature (frequency, wavelength,

vibrational and propagating direction). In the meeting point of several waves, the vibration of

that point is the addition of component vibrations caused by each wave. The characteristic of

a wave is called superposition of principle of wave. It describes the independent feature of

wave propagation. For example, different sounds can be distinguished () by ears.

4.8.2 Interference of waves

Superposition of several waves is not so simple, especially when their amplitude, frequency

and phase are different. Considering the simplest and most important case in which the

superposition is caused by only two waves that have the same frequency, vibrational direction

and the same initial phase or constant phase change. These two waves are called coherent

waves. In the superposition region of the two coherent waves, the vibrations of some points

have large amplitudes at any time and the vibrations of some other points always have smaller

amplitude. This phenomenon is called the interference of wave! Lets calculate the amplitudes

of the superposition waves by comparing them with addition of SHM. Suppose that we have

two vibration equations as wave sources and we have their wave equations very easy.

Two vibrations

s1 A1 cos t 1 kx1

s2 A2 cos t 2 kx2

'1 1 kx1

2 2 kx2

s A cos(t )

1.

1 2 2m

(m = 0, 1, 2, )

2.

1 2 (2m 1)

(m = 0, 1, 2, )

we have cos(1 2 ) 1

A = |A1 A2|

3. A special case of 1 2 . Then the phase change will depend on the distance change only

1 2 k ( x1 x2 ) k

where is the difference of wave distance. as

k

51

Medical Physics

so

x1 x2 m

x1 x2 (2m 1)

(m = 0, 1, 2, ) A is maximum

(m = 0, 1, 2, ) A is Minimum

Standing wave is a special example of wave interference. A sound fork ( ) and a fixed

supporting point are connected by a string. Striking the fork and adjusting the fixed point, you

will find that some point on the string appears static or stationary or stand and other points

vibrate. It seems that each point on the string has its own vibrating amplitude. The standing

points are called nodes and the points between nodes which have maximum amplitude are

called loops or antinodes ().

Standing wave is produced by the addition of two traveling waves that propagate on the

string in an opposite direction. These two waves are expressed by s1 and s2 respectively

s1 A cos(t kx)

s 2 A cos(t kx)

s s1 s1 A cos(t kx) A cos(t kx)

s A cos t cos kx sin t sin kx

A cos t cos kx sin t sin kx

2 A cos kx cos t

The first part of this function does not depend on time. It is a function of x and it changes as

the position on a string varies. At any particular position , it is a sinusoidal wave (). So

each point will move in SHM and it has constant amplitude at each particular point.

It is known that when cos(kx)=0, the vibration equation is always equal to zero. That is s

= 2A cos(kx) cos(t) = 0. Therefore, all the points satisfied with the condition are called

nodes.

When cos(kxm) = 0, then

kx m (2m 1) ,

2

so we have

52

2 2

(2m 1) .

4

x m (2m 1)

xm 1 xm 2(m 1) 1 (2m 1)

.

4 2

When cos kx m 1 , we have s 2 A cos t . This particle moves in SHM and in its

maximum condition. In the case of cos kx m 1 , We obtain

kx m m

( m 0,1,2,...)

So that

(m 0,1,2,...)

.

2

This is the position of loops or antinodes. It is easy to understand that the standing wave has

no energy propagating from one place to another, but it has energy transferred between kinetic

energy and potential energy. From the equation of the standing wave, we know that the

vibrations on the string have the same phase between the two neighbor nodes but out of phase

on the two sides of a node.

xm m

The vibrations which have the mechanical frequencies from 20Hz to 20,000Hz are called

sound vibrations. The longitudinal wave caused by sound vibration is called Sound Wave.

Ultrasonic wave is defined as the sound wave whose frequency is higher than 20,000Hz.

Infrasonic waves frequency is less than 20Hz.

4.9.1 Sound pressure and sound intensity

1. Sound pressure

Sound wave is a longitudinal wave. When it is traveling in a

medium, the density of the medium changes recurrently. The medium is compressed and

expanded periodically. The region compressed has higher pressure and the area expanded in

the medium has lower pressure. It is known that the sound wave equation is

x

s A cos (t )

v

The sound pressure P is related to the bulk modulus K and the density of the medium. Their

relation is given by

P

K v

Where v is the vibrating velocity of the point mass and should be calculated using ds/dt. As

v

So

53

Medical Physics

ds

x

vA sin t

dt

v

vA cos t

v

2

P v

Pm cos t

v

2

2. Acoustic impedance ()

Suppose that the amplitude of the vibrational velocity is vm then we have vm = A. The

acoustic impedance is defined as

Pm vA

v

(kg m-2s-1)

vm

A

where is the density of the medium and v is the propagating velocity of wave in medium.

Z

3. Sound intensity

Sound intensity is defined as the sound power per area traveling through vertical crosssection of propagating direction

1

1 2 Pm2

2 2

I v A Zvm

2

2

2Z

Sound wave will reflect or refract at the boundary of two different mediums.

Reflection coefficient of intensity is

Z Z1

I

ir r 2

I i Z 2 Z1

Ir

it

It

4 Z1 Z 2

I i Z1 Z 2 2

Ii

Z1

It

Z2

Fig. 4.9 sound wave transmission

waveIr is the intensity of reflected wave

and It is the intensity of transmitted wave.

Example 4-3 Calculate the transmitted coefficient of intensity for ultrasonic wave: (1) from

air to human body, (2) from jelly-like () substance () to human body; known that

Z air 4.16 10 2

Z body 1.63 10 6

Z jelly 1.36 10 6

Solution: (1) from air to human body, the transmitted wave intensity is

4Z air Z body

I

it t

0.001

I i Z air Z body 2

54

(2) From Jelly to human body, the transmitted intensity () of the wave can

be obtained as

4 Z jelly Z body

I

it t

0.992

I i Z jelly Z body 2

It is a high transmission! This example explains that when the ultrasonic wave is used in

medical treatment, we have to put some acoustic impedance jelly-like material between

human skin and ultrasonic wave probe (), in order to get higher transmission rate (

, transmissivity).

4.9.2 Auditory region

For a sound wave which could be heard, it should not only be in a certain frequency

region but also in a certain intensity region. For any given frequency which is audible, its

intensity has an upper and a lower limit. The lower limit is the smallest intensity that can be

auditory, it is called the threshold of hearing.

The normal threshold of hearing changes with frequency.

from the curve we know that threshold of hearing is very different in different frequency.

And the most sensitive frequency is 1000-5000Hz for human ears as this is concerned with

the structure of ears. The upper limit is the biggest intensity the human ears can put up with .

If the intensity is bigger than the upper limit, it will cause ear-ache. The upper limit is called

threshold of feeling. Of course, it changes with variation of frequency too. The region is

called auditory region which is surrounded by threshold of hearing, threshold of feeling and

the frequency line of 20Hz and 20000Hz.

4.9.3 Intensity level and loudness level

Auditory region is pretty big. In frequency 1000Hz, for example, from the threshold of

hearing (10-12 wm-2 ) and the threshold of feeling (1 wm-2 ), the change is too much.

Intensity depends on the feeling of ear. It is called loudness.

We use common logarithm to express the intensity level, denoted by L (bel or B). B divided

by 10 is called decibel, denoted by dB. For its definition, we write intensity level as

L lg

I

I

( B ) 10 lg

I0

I0

(dB )

where I0 = 10-12 Wm-2 is the standard reference sound intensity. Generally speaking it is

difficult to measure sound intensity. Usually, we measure the sound pressure and calculate the

L by

I

P2

P

L 10 lg 10 lg 2 20 lg

I0

P0

P0

-5

-2

where P0 = 210 Nm is standard reference sound pressure. Neither sound intensity nor

intensity level can describe the loudness level of hearing completely. Even equal sound

intensity or intensity level is of different loudness due to the different frequency. Also equal

loudness can be caused by different sound intensity or intensity levels with different

frequency. Loudness contour is curve which represents the same loudness. Loudness level

expresses different loudness. Its unit is phon.

Example 4-4: The intensity produced by a motor is 10-7 Wm-2, calculate: (1). Intensity of one

motor; (2) intensity of two motors at the same time.

55

Medical Physics

Solution: According to their definitions substituting the standard intensities into the formula,

we have

L1 10 lg

I

10 7

10 lg 12 50 (dB )

I0

10

L2 10 lg

2I

10 7

10 lg 2 10 lg 12 53 (dB)

I0

10

Therefore, one motor produces 50 db, but two motors produce 53 db only.

The frequency of a fixed-frequency siren on an emergency vehicle seems to change as vehicle

passes a listener. Of course a siren on a train is most obvious while the train passes by. It

becomes louder while the train comes towards us and it is less loudly while the train runs

away from us. This effect is called Doppler effect.

What is the change of frequency if both the wave source and receiver are moving.

Details about the derivation of the formula will be ignored as it is not important. We try to use

the results someone has already obtained. Looking at the following formula:

v

vobserver

f observer sound

f source

vsound vsource

Where the fsource is the frequency produced by the source of sound wave, the fobserver is the

frequency received by observer, vsound is the velocity of sound in air, vsource is the velocity of

the wave source and the vobserver is the velocity of receiver or observer, the plus and minus

signs in front of vsource are for the wave source moving away from or towards the observer

respectively but the plus and minus signs in front of vobserver represent the observer moves

towards and away from the wave source respectively.

Lets have a look at the details of the formula. While the observer and the wave source is

stationary, the frequency of wave source and the observed frequency are same. Suppose that

the observer is stationary, then vobserver is zero and now the vsource is not zero; the sign in its

front takes positive if it moves near the observer and takes negative one otherwise. Suppose

that the wave source is stationary and the observer is moving, the minus and positive signs

should be taken as the same rule given above. It is important that their speed should be base

on air, the medium of the sound wave propagation.

Towards source

f observer

vsound vobserver

f source

vsound vsource

Towards observer

56

Example 4-5: A siren on the train emits a sound wave of frequency 2 kHz. What change in

the frequency of the sound does a person standing near the railroad notice when the train

passes at 96 km/h? (Using 340m/s for the velocity of sound in air)

Solution: (1) in order to calculate the observed frequency of sound, we know that the receiver

is stationary and this means that vobserver =0 and as the train moves toward the observer, the

sign in front of vsource should take the minus sign. So we have

f observer

vsound 0

f source

vsound vsource

340

2000 2170Hz

340 26.7

v

0

f observer sound

f source

vsound vsource

340

2000 1854Hz

340 26.7

(3). There is a mutation () of frequency as the train just passes the listener.

f observer 2170 1854 316 Hz

In this section, we would like to introduce the features and applications of ultrasonic wave. It

is really not my job to introduce all details about the productions of ultrasonic waves and the

principles of all ultrasonic machines. Students who are interested in could get more

information from our Chinese textbook.

4.11.1 The properties of ultrasonic waves

The frequency of ultrasonic waves is between 2104 and 5109 Hz. Ultrasonic waves not only

have the features of sound wave but also possess the characteristics of high frequencies, short

waves and other properties:

1. Directionality () : Since high frequency corresponding to short wavelength high

frequency waves hardly () diffract (: deviation of a wave line at the edge of an

obstacle) and propagate in line.

2. Higher transmission ( ): This property is very important as it can transmit

high density materials like water, fat, muscle () , soft tissue () and so on but not

air, bone and lung () tissues. Using these property, the ultrasonic wave can be used to the

medical treatment.

3. Reflection (): Ultrasonic waves will reflect at the boundary () of medium. Only if

the dimension of the object is a few times of the wavelength, can the ultrasonic waves be

reflected. Due to the short wavelength of the ultrasonic waves, a pretty small object can cause

reflection, such as an air bubble () in steel, lesion (/li:3en/) in biological tissue (

). Echo () generates the ultrasonic image.

57

Medical Physics

Ultrasonic waves has become a very useful tool for diagnosis and detection. When high

intensity ultrasound propagates through a medium, it generates series special actions. Please

read your Chinese text book to get the general idea about the applications of ultrasonic waves.

4.11.2 Applications of ultrasound to medicine

Ultrasound is widely used for diagnosis and treatment, especially diagnosis. Most

ultrasound images came from the boundary reflection in the human body. We can diagnose

pathological changes in tissue.

1. A-type ultrasonic diagnosing instrument (A )

This sort of instrument can only get one dimension signal. You cannot see the shape of

lesions () or pathological() changes.

2. B-type ultrasonic diagnosing instrument (B )

This sort of instrument can form two-dimensional tomography ( x-) image

() of human internal organs () and the lesions in tissue. This will greatly help

doctors to make a correct diagnosis.

3. M-type ultrasonic diagnosing instrument (M )

Using this instrument, the function of heart can be detected and the heartbeat image ()

can be obtained. (.)

4. Ultrasonic Doppler blood-flow instrument ()

Ultrasonic Doppler blood-flow instrument is based on the Doppler effect. The probe of this

instrument consists of two crystals, one is transmitter and the other is receiver. The velocity of

bloodcell () flow can be obtained by this instrument.

5. Color Doppler ultrasonic blood-flow imaging instrument ()

This is the most advanced instrument to diagnose( ) heart diseases. If you would like to

what it can do and what you can get from it, please your Chinese text book on page 71.

Generally, you should read your text book pages 68-71 to get the details about the pplications

of ultrasound in medical science.

Note: See English textbook on pages 103-4 Try to understand examples 3, 4, 5 and 6 .

Problems

A. Vibrations

1. A particle with mass m = 2.00 10-2 kg is in SHM at the end of a spring with spring

constant k = 50.0 N/m. The initial displacement and velocity of the particle is 3.00 10 -2

m and 1.32 m/s respectively. Calculate (1) the angular frequency; (2) the initial phase;

(3) the amplitude of the vibration; (4) the period; (5) the frequency. (example in lecture)

2. Suppose that an electron moves in the addition of two vibrations which are along x-axis

and y-axis respectively and then the vibrational equations are given as

x A1 cos(t 1 )

y A2 cos(t 2 )

58

x2 y2

2 xy

2

cos( 2 1 ) sin 2 ( 2 1 )

2

A1 A2 A1 A2

(1) draw the electron path of motion on x-y plane; (2) determine its direction of

motion (clockwise or anticlockwise).

B. Waves

3. A source of wave moves in SHM. Its equation of motion is s = 0.04 cos(2.5 t) (m). This

wave propagates in a medium along positive x-direction at the speed of 100 m s-1. Try to

find: (1) wave equation of motion; (2) the displacement and velocity of the point mass

which is 20 meters away from the wave source at the time of 1.0 second after the wave

source starts its motion.

4.

4. There are two coherent wave sources propagating in the same medium. Their frequency is

660Hz, their amplitude is A = 0.5m and the propagating velocity is 330 m/s. The two

waves interfere at point P. (1). For two sources which are in phase, calculate the amplitude

at P when AP = 12 m and BP = 15 m; (2) for the two sources which are out of phase,

calculate the amplitude at the same point P.

5. An observer standing on the railway side hears a train moving away at the speed of 40.8

m/s with a horn frequency of 375Hz. It is known that the velocity of sound is 340 m/s in

air. Find the original frequency of the horn on the train.

59

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