National Physical Laboratory

Seeing Sound: Exploiting the Acousto-Optic Effect

Further Information

Published: 30 September 2010

Author: Ian Butterworth

Related: Acoustics


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NPL's Acoustics Group uses the acousto-optic effect to characterise the propagation of sound within a variety of materials.

Light can be affected by acoustic waves as they vibrate through a material. This effect can be utilised and there are two NPL Acoustics areas (underwater acoustics and ultrasound) which use it as a tool to quickly characterise the propagation of sound. Applications in ultrasound include targeted treatment for cancerous tumours using High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU).

Last Updated: 13 Oct 2016
Created: 10 Mar 2011

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