ENGR 409 – Acoustics Class Policies and General Information Instructor: office:

ENGR 409 – Acoustics
Class Policies and General Information
Instructor: Mark W. Muller, Ph.D.
office: HS 305F; 410-677-0023
MW 1:30-3:30, Tu 3:00-4:00
Class Meetings: MW 4:00-5:15, HS 362
Description: Engineering 409 is an elective for physics majors and students pursuing mechanical
engineering or acoustical engineering and is recommended for physics majors on the engineering
track or in the physics engineering transfer program. PHYS 309 is a pre-requisite and a
comfortable working knowledge of algebra and third-semester calculus is required.
Catalog description: Introduction to the principles of acoustics. Topics include the physics of
sound, aeroacoustics, hyrdoacoustics, passive and active sonar systems, biosonar, architectual
acoustics, sound isolation chambers, sound absorption, sound reflection, noise cancellation,
underwater communication, cavitation, rectified diffusion, supersonics, and hypersonics.
Prerequisite: C or better in PHYS 309. Three hours lecture/activity per week.
Textbook: The recommended but not required textbook for this class is Foundations of
Engineering Acoustics, 1st Ed., by Frank Fahy, Elsevier Academic Press.
Calculator: You will often need to use a calculator for numerical problem solving. Using a
preprogrammed calculator in an exam to store information not available to the entire class,
including solutions or equations, is considered cheating.
Academic Dishonesty: I fully comply with and support the policy of academic dishonesty outlined in
the student handbook. I assume any submitted work alleges to be your own unless you have
indicated otherwise. Any violations will lead to a lowered grade, or in extreme cases, failure of
the class.
Inclement Weather: In case of inclement weather, call the Gull Line at 410-546-6426 for weather
related closing information or check the Salisbury University web page.
Writing Across the Curriculum: I completely endorse the campus-wide emphasis on writing and
written communication. You will be expected to provide written explanations for most homework
problems, some in-class group work, and exam problems.
Students with Disabilities: Any student in this course who has a disability that may prevent him or
her from fully demonstrating his or her abilities should contact me as soon as possible so that
we can discuss accommodations necessary to ensure full participation in this class and facilitate
educational opportunities.
Class Format: The class will consist of small group work (labs), class discussion, and lecture. You
are expected to come to class prepared to ask and answer questions and to participate actively.
There will be out-of-class components, such as homework assignments, as well. You should plan
to spend at least four hours outside of class each week interacting with the material and solving
General Goals for the Course:
1. To gain a fundamental understanding of general engineering problem formulation,
organization, and solution.
2. To develop mathematical descriptions of acoustic phenomena and how to simplify generalized
acoustic equations in an appropriate manner to apply to specific problems.
3. To develop skills in self-taught learning through completing of a semester project. The main
topic required for the project is not lectured in class, but supporting materials are provided
and all questions are discussed and answered. The project is deliberately open-ended to
foster creativity in problem solutions and application of learned material in a more realistic
4. To develop skills in technical writing through detailed technical reports on semester project.
Each report is given extensive feedback by the instructor, and used as a draft for
successive version. Feedback is given both on technical content as well as organization and
presentation of material.
Requirements and Grading
Attendance and Participation in Group Work: Course attendance is required. We will be doing
small group work in class. These group learning activities will only be effective if you show up
and participate. You are expected to participate actively in group and class discussions.
Homework: You may work together on the homework. Homework will not be collected.
Exams: There will two mid-semester exams and a comprehensive final exam. See the Tentative
Schedule for the dates. There will be no make-up exams given. If a student must miss an
exam and provides a written excuse prior to the exam, the instructor may, at his discretion,
replace the zero with the grade earned on the final exam.
In-Class Activities: In-class activities will be collected on Mondays at the end of class. No make
ups will be allowed except in extreme circumstances.
Grade Determination: Your grade will be determined based on the following percentages:
Attendance and Participation
Assigned Discussion Leader Days
Total = 100%
Grade Scale: The letter grades will be assigned based on the following scale applied to the
total percentage earned in the course:
90 – 100% = A Superior work. Student demonstrates a thorough and complete
understanding of the subject. No absences.
80 – 89% = B Excellent work. Student demonstrates an above average understanding of the
subject. No more than 2 absences.
70 – 79% = C Good work. Student demonstrates an average understanding of the material.
No more than 4 absences.
60 – 69% = D Fair work. Student demonstrates below average understanding of the
material and has completed most of the assignments. No more than 6
0 - 59% = F Unsatisfactory work; Student does not demonstrate adequate understanding
of the subject and has not turned in all assignments.
Additional Announcement:
The instructor has been assigned jury duty for the month of February. In the event of the
instructor’s absence due to jury duty, students will be expected to lead the class discussion as
scheduled. You may have to find another professor in the department or the secretary to let you in
the room. It is your responsibility to check your email each day in the event of the instructor’s
absence due to jury duty.
ENGR 409 Tentative Schedule
Week 1 (2/1)
Introduction to the physics of sound
Week 2 (2/8)
Hydroacoustics and aeroacoustics
Week 3 (2/15)
Active and passive sonar systems, biosonar
Week 4 (2/22)
Concussion waves and acoustic weaponry
Week 5 (2/29)
Cavitation and Rectified diffusion
Week 6 (3/7)
Architectural acoustics, indoor and outdoor concert venues
Week 7 (3/21)
Recording studios and sound isolation chambers
Week 8 (3/28)
Noise cancellation and safety headphones
Week 9 (4/4)
Sound absorption and sound reflection
Week 10 (4/11)
Dead spots, nodes and anti-nodes
Week 11 (4/18)
Philosophy of sound and human perception of sound
Week 12 (4/25)
Supersonics and hypersonics
Week 13 (5/2)
Harmonic functions and frequency analysis
Week 14 (5/9)
Vibrations and Reverberation