Transducer diffraction theory and development of an ultrasonic tomogram

  • David Gee

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


The work described in this thesis is the development of an ultrasonic tomogram to provide outlines of cross-sections of the ulna in vivo. This instrument, used in conjunction with X-ray densitometry
previously developed in this department, would provide actual bone mineral density to a high resolution.
It was hoped that the accuracy of the plot obtained from the tomogram would exceed that of existing ultrasonic techniques by about five times. Repeat measurements with these instruments to follow bone
mineral changes would involve very low X-ray doses.
A theoretical study has been made of acoustic diffraction, using
a geometrical transform applicable to the integration of three different Green's functions, for axisymmetric systems. This has involved the
derivation of one of these in a form amenable to computation. It is considered that this function fits the boundary conditions occurring in medical ultrasonography more closely than those used previously. A three dimensional plot of the pressure field using this function has been made for a ring transducer, in addition to that for disc transducers
using all three functions.
It has been shown how the theory may be extended to investigate the nature and magnitude of the particle velocity, at any point in the field, for the three functions mentioned. From this study. a concept of diffraction fronts has been developed, which has made it possible to determine energy flow also in a diffracting system. Intensity has been
displayed in a manner similar to that used for pressure. Plots have been made of diffraction fronts and energy flow direction lines.
Date of AwardJun 1981
Original languageEnglish


  • acoustic
  • tomogram
  • Green's functions
  • velocity computation
  • diffraction energy

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