Generation and Detection of Ultrasound

Sound is simply the transfer of mechanical energy from a vibrating source through a medium, for example the plucking of a guitar string makes the string vibrate and produces a sound.

Ultrasound is defined as sound of a frequency above the human audible range, i.e. above 20 kHz. For most emergency medicine applications frequencies in the region of 1 to 10 MHz are used.

An ultrasound transducer (image, right) converts electrical energy into a mechanical pulse of sound that is transmitted into the patient. Returning echoes are converted into an electrical signal from which the image is formed.


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