KS4 Sound and Ultrasound

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Ultrasound & X Rays
Learning Objectives

Candidates should use their skills, knowledge and understanding of how science works:

  • to compare the amplitudes and frequencies of sounds from diagrams of oscilloscope traces.
     
  • to compare the amplitudes and frequencies of ultrasounds from diagrams of oscilloscope traces.
     
  • to determine the distance between interfaces in various media from diagrams of oscilloscope traces.
     
  • to compare the medical use of ultrasound and X rays.
     
  • to evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of using ultrasound, X-rays and Computerised Tomography (CT) scans.

Their skills, knowledge and understanding of how science works should be set in these substantive contexts:

 

  • Sound is caused by mechanical vibrations and travels as a wave.
     
  • Sounds in the range 20-20 000 Hz can be detected by the human ear.
     
  • Sound cannot travel through a vacuum.
     
  • The pitch of a note increases as the frequency increases.
     
  • The loudness of a note increases as the amplitude of the wave increases.
     
  • Sound waves can be reflected and refracted.
     
  • Electronic systems can be used to produce ultrasound waves, which have a frequency higher than the upper limit of hearing for humans.
     
  • Ultrasound waves are partially reflected when they meet a boundary between two different media.
     
  • The time taken for the reflections to reach a detector can be used to determine how far away such a boundary is.
     
  • Calculation of the distance between interfaces in various media.
     
  • Ultrasound waves can be used in medicine.
     
  • X-rays have a very short wavelength and cause ionisation.
     
  • X-rays are part of the electromagnetic spectrum and can be used to diagnose and treat some medical conditions.
     
  • X-rays can be used to diagnose and treat some medical conditions.
     
  • Precautions to be taken when X-ray machines and CT scanners are in use.

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