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Fundamentals of Physical Acoustics / Edition 1

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Easy to read and understand, Fundamentals of Physical Acoustics fills a long-standing need for an acoustics text that challenges but does not overpower graduate students in engineering and physics. Mathematical results and physical explanations go hand in hand, and a unique feature of the book is the balance it strikes between time-domain and frequency-domain presentations.

Fundamentals of Physical Acoustics is intended for a two-semester, first-year graduate course, but is also suitable for advanced undergraduates. Emphasis on plane waves in the first part of the book keeps the mathematics simple yet accommodates a broad range of topics: propagation, reflection and transmission, normal modes and simple waveguides for rectilinear geometries, horns, inhomogeneous media, and sound absorption and dispersion.

The second part of the book is devoted to a more rigorous development of the wave equation, spherical and cylindrical waves (including the more advanced mathematics required), advanced waveguides, baffled piston radiation, diffraction (treated in the time domain), and arrays. Applications and examples are drawn from:
* Atmospheric acoustics
* Noise control
* Underwater acoustics
* Engineering acoustics
* Acoustical measurements

Supplemented with more than 300 graphs and figures as well as copious end-of-chapter problems, Fundamentals of Physical Acoustics is also an excellent professional reference for engineers and scientists.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This book is an excellent piece of work. The text is extremely clear and goes a long way towards meeting the declared pedagogical target. The author has written a comprehensive text. The proportions of the equations and explanations/interpretations are particularly well balanced. Throughout the book, the context and the validity domain for any equation derived are clearly stated. No doubt this book will be of invaluable help for students, academics, and engineers." (Applied Acoustics, March 2002)
Blackstock (mechanical engineering, U. of Texas) presents an introductory textbook on the physics of sound written for a two- semester graduate-level course. For part of the book, he attempts to keep the mathematics at a fairly basic level, while covering such topics as propagation, reflection and transmission, normal modes and simple waveguides for rectilinear geometries, horns, inhomogeneous media, and sound absorption and dispersion. However, the mathematics gets a little more rigorous for such advanced topics as wave equation, spherical and cylindrical waves, baffled piston radiation, diffraction, and arrays. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780471319795
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 4/28/2000
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 568
  • Sales rank: 736,914
  • Product dimensions: 6.48 (w) x 9.41 (h) x 1.33 (d)

Meet the Author

DAVID T. BLACKSTOCK is a professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin. He is a past president of the Acoustical Society of America and has been awarded its Gold Medal.

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Table of Contents

Detailed Development of the Acoustical Wave Equation.

Reflection and Transmission of Normally Incident Plane Waves of Arbitrary Waveform.

Normal Incidence Continued: Steady-State Analysis.

Transmission Phenomena: Oblique Incidence.

Normal Modes in Cartesian Coordinates: Strings, Membranes, Rooms, and Rectangular Waveguides.


Propagation in Stratified Media.

Propagation in Dissipative Fluids: Absorption and Dispersion.

Spherical Waves.

Cylindrical Waves.


Radiation from a Baffled Piston.





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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 10, 2003

    Very good resource

    Blackstock used this book in his own class. Normally, I would take this as a sign to run away screaming, but not this time. 99% of the information he wanted us to know was in this book, and it is all pretty well presented. Occasionally you have to refer to information that is hidden in the middle of a paragraph in another chapter, but if you are willing to highlight your books, this will be no problem. <P> Finally, each chapter includes a list of references that is extremely thorough.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 12, 2009

    It teaches you the fundamentals.

    Like no other book. Don't hold the fact that he uses this book in his class; most Gold Medal Acoustic guys are worth their billing and so is this book. Great book. EVERYTHING IS DONE WITH THE WAVE EQUATION. EVERYTHING.

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