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Acoustic radiation pressure

  1. Feb 18, 2004 #1
    I'm working on a project that involves 'acoustic radiation pressure'.. This means that an acoustic wave can exert a net force on some object, along it's propagation-direction.. if the object was a plate, it would look somewhat like this:

    ....................... |
    ----||--wave--> |->Force
    ....................... |
    ..................... plate

    This force is quite small.
    I don't, however, understand the reason this force can exist.. it's presumably a change of momentum of the air-molecules or so..
    The net pressure (time averaged) exerted on the plate in the above situation would be I/c if the plate was absorbing and 2*I/c if the plate was reflecting.. (I = intensity, c= speed of sound). I found these formulas somewhere, without any explanation accompanyin them.
    Is there anyone that could give me a step in the right direction to explain this?
  2. jcsd
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