Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Glass or material that can be 'merged' with glass that is...

  1. Oct 9, 2015 #1
    ... transparent to sound.

    Hi, I am looking for a material that will have almost zero effect on the degradation of a sound wave as it passes through. It must be a flat surface. It will be used like this:


    Can any of you materials guys think of anything that would work?

    Thanks for any ideas.
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 10, 2015 #2


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor

    The sound is supposed to pass through the column of water from top to bottom, but not through the sides?

    This is a matter of acoustic coupling. One wants a boundary that has similar acoustic properties to those of the media through which the sound is propagated. The boundary would need minimal mass, but it has to have sufficient tensile strength to retain the water (mass of the water). Does the base have to be rigid?

    If the glass is simply opened at the bottom, one could insert a balloon or thin walled bag to hold the water.

    Will the column of water or glass tube/vessel be sitting in water? If so, one could use a thin membrane perhaps.
  4. Oct 10, 2015 #3


    User Avatar
    2017 Award

    Staff: Mentor

    Where does the sound come from? Is the glass on some surface, or suspended in air?
    In general, every transition between materials with different speed of sound is problematic.
  5. Oct 12, 2015 #4
    Thanks of the replies!

    Hm that is not so important, what is important is that the sound be degraded as little as possible by the bottom of the container. We want maximum acoustic energy transfer.

    We are presently using a flexiglass type material, what I really need is something more rigid but equally acoustically transparent that will aid in the vessels manufacture.

    Yes! in some of the experiments the vessel will be suspended in water. Please could you explain to what type of membraine you refer?

    hmm yes apologies I should have been more precise, yes the vessel will be suspended in liquid, so it will be more like this:


    In the meantime I found a paper that uses <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polydimethylsiloxane">Polydimethylsiloxane </a>
    if anyone has any experience with this type of material? Could it be easily moulded to the glass sides to make the bottom of the vessel?
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook