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Ultrasounds and why they are helpful to humans

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EXTENDED ESSAY Ultrasounds and why they are helpful to humans Ivan La Bruna D #0261-011 American School of Milan IB Extended Essay May 2003 Word Count: 3770 Abstract Ultrasounds are sound waves that exceed the limit of human hearing. In latin ultrasound means that it goes beyond a boundary, in this case the sound wave goes over our hearing capacities. The study of sound waves could be considered ancient study because sound was always an interest of the people. This is why people created many musical instruments in different areas, the most curious thing is that the shapes differ from location and also produce different sounds. Without these studies on sound scientists or explorers probably would have not reached the level of wave reproduction there is in modern times. In the past sound waves were reproduced with wind and string instruments while in modern days scientists are able to create a sound wave with specific requirements. What will be discussed in this essay will be an explanation on what aer ultrasounds and why they are applied to society. Ultrasounds are used mainly in the medical environment but also in detecting the distance of objects, on submarines, and other uses which will be discussed. The good thing about ultrasounds is that they are not very expensive and for this reason it has expanded more and more. For example ultrasounds are used in the medical world to scan the fetus in the womb of a woman, thanks to this equipment the doctors are able to control the fetuses health without harming the fetus and not making the client pay expensive bills. The positive aspect of ultrasounds is that by using a moderated frequency it does not harm the skin tissues of our body nor other organs, it is a safe method to image parts of our bodies without harming them, this is why it is used so often. ...read more.


To be more precise: "Acoustics is the science of sound, including its production, transmission and reception."13. Since sound is the propagation of mechanical energy traveling into a material medium, the waves are most likely to contain data and information. The waves contain so much information that not all of it is wanted, most of it is what we call "noise" and it can interfere with the other sets of information that a wave can contain. With acoustics people are able to delete that part of "noise" and obtain clear and precise data, the "noise" obstructs and is also unnecessary, acoustics also gives a chance to scientists to study sound in all its depth14. The way we hear depends by many factors, sex, age, and especially by the person itself on how he treats its ears. For example a disc jockey tend to lose a little bit of audibility due to the extended exposure of the ear to loud music in clubs and in his headphones; due to this dj sometimes have autite problems and have to wear ear plugs to heal the ear. It also depends on the pressure of the wave, sound waves have pressure and if the pressure is really high then our ear will have hard times to hear beacause it might be too strong for it. How it is produced Humans can produce sounds in many ways but the result is that the hearing system cannot capture sounds higher than approximately 20,000 Hz and so they are unaware of the other sounds that are created. To produce such a high frequency a technical equipment is needed, most cases transducers are used. A transducer is an acoustical signal processing unit15, there are mainly two types of transducers: the first one is a receiving transducer that detects signals and the second one is a transmitting transducer which sends signals out into space. ...read more.


Also x-rays seem to map the most dense parts of the body rather than just the tissues, (Diagram 8 compared with Diagrams 1,2,4). There are no applications in curing people with ultrasounds now days. Doctors and scientists have still not found a way to use ultrasounds to cure diseases, for now it could only be helpful in the mapping environment, maybe in the future there will be some way to cure people, maybe by using the pressure property of ultrasounds. Which can become really strong since it can sterilize jewelry. Diagram 8 29 X-ray image of a person chest, most of the bones are quite visible. If ultrasound will continue to progress probably its use will increase since it does not harm the human body as others that don't such as chemotherapy, x-rays, and other methods of curing that have side effects in the long term. In fact ultrasounds are known to not have bad side effects to the body nor the skin, if really high frequencies are used then the body may resent the application of these frequencies. With the use of technology that is in fast progress, the equipment is not very expensive and this is a positive aspect especially in the medical field which gives a chance to many people to have use of the equipment. The more technology improves the more the equipment will be less expensive, in 1930 the ultrasonic devices were really expensive while in modern times most hospitals have equipment for fetus scanning. The usage of sound is becoming more frequent also in other areas, because the concept can be applied easily and also the equipment is very cheap in confront to other equipment, this is why it started to be helpful to humans. It was applied to society because it was not expensive and it's improvement was increasingly incrementing. If ultrasounds continue its progression then ultrasounds may be a new frontier of study that will bring the medical environment to improve to such a point that everything will be less expensive and be less harmful than other methods. ...read more.

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