Acoustics

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Acoustics is the science that deals with the production, transmission, and reception of sound through gaseous, liquid, and solid medium. A scientist who works in the field of acoustics is an acoustician. The application of acoustics in technology is called acoustical engineering. There is often much overlap and interaction between the interests of acousticians and acoustical engineers. The science of acoustics spreads across so many facets of our society - music, medicine, architecture, industrial production, warfare and more.

The word "acoustic" is derived from the ancient Greek word ακουστός, meaning able to be heard (Woodhouse, 1910, 392). The Latin synonym is "sonic". After acousticians had extended their studies to frequencies above and below the audible range, it became conventional to identify these frequency ranges as "ultrasonic" and "infrasonic" respectively, while letting the word "acoustic" refer to the entire frequency range without limit.