Resonator, Acoustic

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Resonator, Acoustic


a vessel that is connected with the external medium through a small orifice or tube called the neck.

A characteristic feature of an acoustic resonator is the ability to execute low-frequency natural oscillations having a wavelength substantially greater than the resonator’s dimensions. The fundamental (natural) frequency f0 of an acoustic resonator with a neck is calculated from the formula f0Resonator, Acoustic, where c is the speed of sound in air, S and l are the cross-sectional area and length of the tube, respectively, and V is the volume of the vessel. If an acoustic resonator is placed in a harmonic sound field whose frequency is equal to f0, vibrations are produced in the resonator that have an amplitude many times the amplitude of the sound field. In a nonharmonic sound field, an acoustic resonator responds only to oscillations having a frequency equal to the natural frequency of the resonator. Consequently, a set of resonators having different natural frequencies can be used to analyze sound.

The amplitude of the oscillatory velocity in a resonator’s neck at f0 is high; consequently, when friction exists in the neck, a sound at this frequency is strongly absorbed. This property of an acoustic resonator is used to create acoustic resonance absorbers in architectural acoustics. Acoustic resonators are also used as resonance baffles to reduce the transmission of low-frequency noise along a sound duct. The low input impedance of an acoustic resonator in a sound duct wall at the frequency f0 will sharply alter the conditions for wave propagation at this frequency. Bubbles in a liquid and air cavities in certain other media, such as rubber, are also acoustic resonators, so that the presence of a large number of bubbles in water gives rise to strong sound absorption and interferes with the propagation of sound waves.

The theory of acoustic resonators was developed by H. Helmholtz and Lord Rayleigh.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.