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A history of ultrasound physics and the properties of the transducer - Research Paper Example

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A history of ultrasound physics and the properties of the transducer

Prior to the second World War, sonar, which is the technique of transmitting waves of sound through water and observing the echoes that return to characterize the objects that are submerged, was an inspiration to the pioneers of ultrasound investigators in exploring ways and in turn applying the medical diagnosis concepts. This paper will highlight the history of ultrasound and discuss the properties of transducers.
History of ultrasound
According to Orenstein, (2008) Pythagoras, popular for his theory about right-angled triangles was the pioneer of ultrasound, since he invented the sonometer, which was used to study musical sounds. Boethius (c. 480-c.525) was the first to give comparison between sound waves to waves that were produced when a pebble was dropped into calm water. Pierre Curie, a French physicist discovered piezoelectricity in 1877, the moment that ultrasound was conceived. Later on, as Orenstein continues to assert, sonographic imaging was developed by French professor and physicist Paul Lavengin. Many scientists had the desire to see inside the human body and in turn developed probes and scopes for diagnosis and treatment during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. For instance, the discovery of X-rays by William Conrad in 1865 played an important role in the history of ultrasound. Moreover, in 1912, when the Titanic sank while on its maiden voyage made people to be curious in detecting submerged substances. Like many other technological advances, ultrasound also owes its development to the World War. Lavengin was called upon by the French government to develop an object that was able to detect the sub marines of the enemy during the World War One. The device he invented applied the piezoelectric effect he had learned as Curies’ student (Orenstein, 2008). The transducer is one of the most critical componenets of any diagnostic ultrasound system. There exists various types of ultrasound transducers that can be chosen prior to performing an ultrasound investigation, therefore, much attention should be accorded towards choosing the most suitable transducer for the ultrasound application (Gibbs, Cole, & Sassano, 2009 p27). However, Lavengin did not complete the device he developed in 1917 so that it could be used during the First World War, but it indeed formed the basis of sonar detection that was developed in the World War II (Orenstein, 2008). In 1928, Sergei Sokolov, a Russian physicist made important suggestions that saw ultrasound being used for industrial purposes that included detecting flaws in metallic devices. Ultrasound is a new aspect in the field of medicine. For instance, in the 1920s and the 1930s, ultrasound was used by members of European football clubs as a physical therapy. Additionally, as reported by Orenstein, ultrasound was utilized in the sterilization of vaccines as well as for cancer therapy in conjunction with radiation therapy. Subsequently, in 1948, other ultrasound pioneers such as Douglas Howry subjected his efforts towards developing a B-mode equipment that compared pathology to cross-sectional anatomy. The late 60s and early 70s was the period of sonic boom. A 2D echo was pioneered by Klaus Bom. Don Baker, John Reid and Dennis Watkins were able to develop a pulsed Doppler in 1966, which was able to detect the flow of blood from the different corners of the heart. Real-time ultrasound was developed in ...Show more


Transducers act as both a transmitter and a receiver of ultrasound and are capable of producing beams that are in turn directed in a variety of ways of improving the quality of the images that are seen on the screen. …
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