PC3400 Survey of Underwater Acoustics

The physics of the generation, propagation, and detection of sound in the ocean. Topics include the acoustic wave equation and its limitations in fluids; plane, cylindrical, and spherical waves; the ray approximation; reflection of planes waves from plane boundaries; radiation of sound from circular piston, continuous line source, and linear array; speed of sound and absorption in the ocean; active and passive sonar equations; transmission-loss and detection-threshold models; normal mode propagation in the ocean; the parabolic equation approximation. Laboratory experiments include surface interference, noise analysis, normal modes, and acoustic waveguides.


PH2151, PH3991

Lecture Hours


Lab Hours


Quarter Offered

  • Spring