Acoustic Radiator

acoustic radiator

[ə′küs·tik ′rād·ē‚ād·ər]
(engineering acoustics)
A vibrating surface that produces sound waves, such as a loudspeaker cone or a headphone diaphragm.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Acoustic Radiator


a device for the excitation of sound waves in an elastic medium. An acoustic radiator can be built by using various sound-producing means: vibrations of solids and surfaces in an elastic medium (a string with a sounding board, a plate, a membrane, and so on); vibrations in the air itself (whistles, sirens, organ pipes, or the human vocal apparatus); periodic variations of temperature in the medium (thermophone and ionophone); and so forth.

The most important characteristics of an acoustic radiator are the frequency radiation range, the radiating power, and the directivity (the distribution of the radiated energy in space). Depending on the application of an acoustic radiator, the requirements for these characteristics will be different. A loudspeaker, for instance, should radiate sound in a wide range of frequencies from 30 Hz to 16 kHz and uniformly in all directions; but the acoustic radiator of an ultrasonic flaw detector should produce a narrow directional beam of ultrasonic waves with a single frequency of several MHz. To obtain an acoustic radiator with the required characteristics, computations of its sound field are carried out. However, accurate solutions can be attained only for radiators of the simplest shapes (a pulsating sphere, a vibrating sphere, and so forth) under conditions of small vibration amplitudes of the radiating surface; the great variety of acoustic radiators are reduced to these simple radiator types or combinations thereof.


Krasil’nikov, V. A. Zvukovye i ul’trazvukovye volny v vozdukhe, vode i tverdykh telakh, 3rd ed. Moscow, 1960.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Owens Corning is developing an optimized trim material that will allow the exciter to be mounted directly to a trim panel, with no need for a separate grille or acoustic radiator surface.
"My array uses individual loudspeaker elements that are specially designed first-order acoustic radiators or phase-shift sources, so saving cost and improving the robustness of the array," he says.