Class 9 Physics Sound Applications of Ultrasounds

Applications of Ultrasounds

Ultrasounds are high frequency waves, which can travel in defined paths even in the presence of many obstacles

Medical applications

  • Ultrasonic waves are used to capture the images of the heart and its features and problems associated with the heart, if any (for treatment purpose). This is called echocardiography.
  • Ultrasound scans/Ultrasonography are very commonly used to get images of internal body organs such as liver, kidney, uterus. It helps the doctor to diagnose and treat problems in the body of the patient. In this method, ultrasound waves are made to travel through the body to the organ under consideration. They get reflected and these are converted to electrical signals which can be monitored on a screen.
  • Ultrasonography is used to observe the growth of the fetus inside the uterus. It can also used to monitor the abnormalities.
  • It is used to break kidney stones into fine grains which later get flushed out through urine.    

Industrial Applications

  • Ultrasound is used to clean machine parts located in places which are not easily accesible - electronic components, internal parts, spiral parts etc. The objects are placed in a cleaning solution and waves are passed through it. Because of the high frequency of the waves, the dust particles just fall out.
  • It is used to detect defects, flaws, cracks in machine parts, bridges, building etc. Ultrasound waves are passed at one end and monitored using detectors. If there are laws or cracks, then the ultrasound waves are reflected back indicating the presence of a defect.


SONAR (SOund Navigation And Ranging)

  • SONAR is a device that uses ultrasonic waves to measure distances which are practically impossible to measure - depth of ocean, distance and direction of underwater objects.
  • SONAR comprises of a ultrasound transmitter and detector fitted in a ship.
  • The transmitter produces ultrasound waves which travel, hit the bottom of the ocean(or any object) and return back and are detected.
  • The time taken for the ultrasound to return (t) and speed of ultrasound in water (v) is now known. So, we have distance d = (v * t)/2 (Divided by 2, because the wave travels twice the distance, ie from transmitter to object and then object to detector)

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