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Recently, there has been considerable progress in the direction of improved ultrasonic methods and techniques; the introduction of pulsed techniques and the associated radar variety of circuitry have made possible improved instrumentation for more effectively studying the interaction of ultrasonics with matter and also have afforded better means for the inspection and testing of materials. A vast amount of both published and unpublished literature has appeared on the rather broad subject of pulsed ultrasonics, the sources being so diverse that it is rather difficult to discern certain basic principles. It is one of the prime objectives of this article to provide for the reader some of the background information derived from theoretical analysis of ultrasonic wave behavior. The author hopes that this effort will effect a better appreciation of the applicability of ultrasonics and allow those actively affiliated with the field of inspection and testing to make increasingly effective use of the existing equipment and that of the immediate future. A thorough theoretical treatment of ultrasonic wave propagation would require an extensive excursion into the fields of acoustics, optics, elasticity, piezoelectricity, crystal physics, geophysics, electronics, etc. Since this is clearly beyond the domain of a dissertation of this sort, it is evident that a good deal of the material to be presented may require further amplification. It will remain for the reader to fill in the details to suit his own particular needs, and it is hoped that providing the essentials will facilitate this job. Also, since the treatment herein is non-mathematical, with emphasis on results rather than methods, a list of references is appended for the, use of those interested in the, specific methods and mathematics involved.
Formerly Assistant Professor of Physics, Brown Univ., ProvidenceWatertown, Mass.