Date of Award

5-17-2015

Document Type

Honors Thesis

Department

Physics

First Advisor

Brett Pearson

Language

English

Abstract

Ultrasound imaging is one of the most ubiquitous forms of sonography today. It ranks among the cheapest and safest forms of medical imaging techniques available, and it has a wide range of applications in medicine; it is gentle enough to image a developing fetus, yet can also be powerful enough to destroy a kidney stone. We have developed a series of demonstrations that examine several physical properties of ultrasound, specifically as they pertain to imaging. We intend these demonstrations to be used as a learning aid for students who are studying the physics behind medical imaging. These demonstrations utilize single-source transceivers from the maker Parsonics, and they cover the basic properties of ultrasound, the remote sensing capabilities of sound, and more advanced ultrasound theory. Many applications of ultrasound imaging require instead an array of multiple sources. Following techniques used in radar and loudspeaker implementation, we also explore analytically and computationally the steering and shaping of ultrasound waves using source arrays. Operating in the small-source, far-field limit, we vary the time delays introduced into each source element to allow for changes in directionality. Following the principle of superposition, we are able to focus the outgoing radiation at a particular point in the far field. Applications of these techniques are most notably within the medical field and include both ultrasound imaging and ultrasound therapies.

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