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Radiology (Ultrasound)

Ultrasound is sound waves with frequencies higher than the upper audible limit of human hearing. Ultrasound is no different from ‘normal’ (audible) sound in its physical properties, except in that humans cannot hear it. This limit varies from person to person and is approximately 20 kilohertz (20,000 hertz) in healthy, young adults. Ultrasound devices operate with frequencies from 20 kHz up to several gigahertz.

download (2)Ultrasound is used in many different fields. Ultrasonic devices are used to detect objects and measure distances. Ultrasound imaging or sonography is often used in medicine. In the nondestructive testing of products and structures, ultrasound is used to detect invisible flaws. Industrially, ultrasound is used for cleaning, mixing, and to accelerate chemical processes. Animals such as bats and porpoises use ultrasound for locating prey and obstacles. Scientist are also studying ultrasound using graphene diaphragms as a method of communication.

The upper frequency limit in humans (approximately 20 kHz) is due to limitations of the middle ear. Auditory sensation can occur if high‐intensity ultrasound is fed directly into the human skull and reaches the cochlea through bone conduction, without passing through the middle ear.

Children can hear some high-pitched sounds that older adults cannot hear, because in humans the upper limit pitch of hearing tends to decrease with age. An American cell phone company has used this to create ring signals supposedly only able to be heard by younger humans;[6] but many older people can hear the signals, which may be because of the considerable variation of age-related deterioration in the upper hearing threshold. The Mosquito is an electronic device that uses a high pitched frequency to deter loitering by young people.

downloadA common use of ultrasound is in underwater range finding; this use is also called Sonar. An ultrasonic pulse is generated in a particular direction. If there is an object in the path of this pulse, part or all of the pulse will be reflected back to the transmitter as an echo and can be detected through the receiver path. By measuring the difference in time between the pulse being transmitted and the echo being received, it is possible to determine the distance.

The measured travel time of Sonar pulses in water is strongly dependent on the temperature and the salinity of the water. Ultrasonic ranging is also applied for measurement in air and for short distances. For example, hand-held ultrasonic measuring tools can rapidly measure the layout of rooms.

Although range finding underwater is performed at both sub-audible and audible frequencies for great distances (1 to several kilometers), ultrasonic range finding is used when distances are shorter and the accuracy of the distance measurement is desired to be finer. Ultrasonic measurements may be limited through barrier layers with large salinity, temperature or vortex differentials. Ranging in water varies from about hundreds to thousands of meters, but can be performed with centimeters to meters accuracy

Names of specialist doctors

  • Dr. K.K. Sinha
  • Dr. Sunil Rohtagi (on call)