Determination of particle size distributions from acoustic wave propagation measurements

Peter D.M. Spelt, Michael A. Norato, Ashok S. Sangani, Lawrence L. Tavlarides

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


The wave equations for the interior and exterior of the particles are ensemble averaged and combined with an analysis by Allegra and Hawley [J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 51, 1545 (1972)] for the interaction of a single particle with the incident wave to determine the phase speed and attenuation of sound waves propagating through dilute slurries. The theory is shown to compare very well with the measured attenuation. The inverse problem, i.e., the problem of determining the particle size distribution given the attenuation as a function of frequency, is examined using regularization techniques that have been successful for bubbly liquids. It is shown that, unlike the bubbly liquids, the success of solving the inverse problem is limited since it depends strongly on the nature of particles and the frequency range used in inverse calculations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1065-1080
Number of pages16
JournalPhysics of Fluids
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computational Mechanics
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


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