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Modeling the Collision of Acoustic Waves

  1. Sep 6, 2010 #1
    Hello all,

    Ive never really worked with Acoustics before but have been looking into acoustic raditation, effects in cavitation, acoustic fields, sonar, etc. However, it has been pretty difficult to find any information on equations or modeling of the collision of the acoustic waves.

    The example problem I am looking at is:
    what would happen if two frequency waves (maybe two high frequency...or two low frequency...or one of each) collided or interrputed each others acoustic field? Like an emitter colliding with an echolocation type chirp.

    I'd appreciate any terminology or links to help with this research...or anything else.

  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 7, 2010 #2
    To first order, acoustic waves don't 'collide' per se, they superpose--thats how you hear numerous sounds simultaneously.
    Is there a particular direction you're going with this research, or just general knowledge?
  4. Sep 7, 2010 #3
    Thanks for the reply...I knew I was either using the wrong term or there was another definition more appropriate to describe the 'collision' or 'union' of acoustic wave types or frequencies (superpose).

    As for your question, yes I am trying to specifically find information if there is a description or mathematical model of, when say two types of acoustic waves of varying frequency (ultra sound vs infrasound) collide (superpose) and is there any 'residue' (acoustic radiation?) of say the residual effect of the 'acoustic collision' of even varying frequencies, or if this is even possible, because the frequencies differ?

    Hope I give you a little more insight to my research direction.
  5. Sep 7, 2010 #4
    I don't think anything additional would happen. The two waves would just pass over one another, adding together while they overlap. Higher order effects would become important if the amplitude of the waves was extremely large--but in that regime, mathematical models would be really ugly--and well outside of my range.
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