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Evanescent waves, Mechanical waves, Solid media, Liquid solid interfaces, Reflection coefficient


The transmission of airborne sound into high-impedance media is of interest in several applications. For example, sonic booms in the atmosphere may impact marine life when incident on the ocean surface, or affect the integrity of existing structures when incident on the ground. Transmission across high impedance-difference interfaces is generally limited by reflection and refraction at the surface, and by the critical angle criterion. However, spatially decaying incident waves, i.e., inhomogeneous or evanescent plane waves, may transmit energy above the critical angle, unlike homogeneous plane waves. The introduction of a decaying component to the incident trace wavenumber creates a nonzero propagating component of the transmitted normal wavenumber, so energy can be transmitted across the interface. A model of evanescent plane waves and their transmission across fluid-fluid and fluid-solid interfaces is developed here. Results are presented for both air-water and air-solid interfaces. The effects of the incident wave parameters (including the frequency, decay rate, and incidence angle) and the interfacial properties are investigated. Conditions for which there is no reflection at the air-solid interface, due to impedance matching between the incident and transmitted waves, are also considered and are found to yield substantial transmission increases over homogeneous incident waves.


Copyright 2015 Acoustical Society of America. This article may be downloaded for personal use only. Any other use requires prior permission of the author and the Acoustical Society of America. The following article appeared in Woods, D., Bolton, J., Rhoads, J., “On the use of evanescent plane waves for low-frequency energy transmission across material interfaces”, Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, Vol. 138, 2015 and may be found at