Topics: Ultrasound, Sound, Microphone Pages: 2 (423 words) Published: April 23, 2013
An ultrasonic transducer is a device that converts energy into ultrasound, or sound waves above the normal range of human hearing. While technically a dog whistle is an ultrasonic transducer that converts mechanical energy in the form of air pressure into ultrasonic sound waves, the term is more apt to be used to refer to piezoelectric transducers that convert electrical energy into sound. Piezoelectric crystals have the property of changing size when a voltage is applied, thus applying an alternating current (AC) across them causes them to oscillate at very high frequencies, thus producing very high frequency sound waves. The location at which a transducer focuses the sound can be determined by the active transducer area and shape, the ultrasound frequency, and the sound velocity of the propagation medium. The example shows the sound fields of an unfocused and a focusing ultrasonic transducer in water. Since piezoelectric crystals generate a voltage when force is applied to them, the same crystal can be used as an ultrasonic detector. Some systems use separate transmitter and receiver components while others combine both in a single piezoelectric transceiver. Non-piezoelectric principles are also used in construction of ultrasound transmitters. Magnetostrictive materials slightly change size when exposed to a magnetic field; such materials can be used to make transducers. A capacitor microphone uses a thin plate which moves in response to ultrasound waves; changes in the electric field around the plate convert sound signals to electric currents, which can be amplified Medical ultrasonic transducers (probes) come in a variety of different shapes and sizes for use in making pictures of different parts of the body. The transducer may be passed over the surface of the body or inserted into a body opening such as the rectum or vagina. Clinicians who perform ultrasound-guided procedures often use a probe positioning system to hold the ultrasonic transducer. Air...
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