This volume, available for the first time in paperback, is a standard work on the physical aspects of acoustics. Starting from first principles, the authors have successfully produced a unified and thorough treatment of the subjects of generation, propagation, absorption, reflection, and scattering of compressional waves in fluids, progressing to such topics as moving sound sources, turbulence, and wave-induced vibration of structures. Material is included on viscous and thermal effects, on the acoustics of moving media, on plasma acoustics, on nonlinear effects, and on the interaction between light and sound. Problems, with answers in many cases, are given at the end of each chapter.
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This transcript may not be quoted, reproduced or redistributed in whole or in part by any means except with the written permission of the American Institute of Physics. This transcript is based on a tape-recorded interview deposited at the Center for History of Physics of the American Institute of Physics. The AIP's interviews have generally been transcribed from tape, edited by the interviewer for clarity, and then further edited by the interviewee. If this interview is important to you, you should consult earlier versions of the transcript or listen to the original tape.
For many interviews, the AIP retains substantial files with further information about the interviewee and the interview itself. Please contact us for information about accessing these materials.
Please bear in mind that: 1 This material is a transcript of the spoken word rather than a literary product; 2 An interview must be read with the awareness that different people's memories about an event will often differ, and that memories can change with time for many reasons including subsequent experiences, interactions with others, and one's feelings about an event.
Disclaimer: This transcript was scanned from a typescript, introducing occasional spelling errors. The original typescript is available. Interview of K. In this interview K. Uno Ingard, and this is George Maling asking the questions. I know you were born in , but in what city of town? My parents had the compulsory education required in Sweden at that time. But they did not attend college.
My mother was a full-time homemaker. My father was a mechanic, and he had a number of hobbies. One of his hobbies was to design and construct mechanical puzzles of various kinds, and he challenged me to solve those puzzles.
Another hobby that he had was to explore on bicycle the interesting areas on the west coast of Sweden, visiting lakes and less-traveled roads.
And ever since I was 12 years old, I went with him on those trips, and he actually wrote articles in the local newspapers on bicycle trips — one-day trips and two-day trips, an outline exactly how to do it. Very interesting. And you were bicycling; you were quite an athlete when you were young. How did you get interested in that, and what was your specialty?
Athletics came very easily to me, because I was fast and I suppose well-coordinated, and my first experience with competitive athletics was the championship for schoolboys in Gothenburg, and I remember when I was 12 years old, I won first prize in high -jumping, and that was my first competitive experience in athletics. Track and field was my main, but I did play all kinds of team sports-soccer, ice hockey, and something called handball, European handball.
I played everything in sight. I loved athletics. And you must have been very interested in science when you were in your secondary school.
Were there any special teachers there or people that you recall? Not really. Apart from that, I have no recollection of any special teachers that impressed me. But at some point, you must have known that you were going to go to college. How did that — did you get interested in acoustics at that time? No, I had no interest in any specialty like acoustics or anything like that. But my favorite subjects in school, at that time was math and physics. And I enjoyed problem solving. So whenever I got a book in physics and mathematics, I usually on my own solved all the problems in the book that was written up.
So that was sort of my hobby. The undergraduate training was, let me see now. I have to fit it into the Swedish system. Undergraduate is college? The first undergraduate experience was at something called the Chalmers Institute of Technology in Gothenburg, Sweden, and that was a four-year college. It was a three - or four year college; I don't remember which. My field was electronics. The teachers there, on the other hand, I do remember-teachers who made quite an impact on my future interests.
One of them was in electrical engineering, electricity, and electromagnetism. His name was Dahr. And another one was Hogner, another very good teacher in mechanics. And the third was Rydbeck, whom I later worked with. He was my supervisor for my undergraduate thesis.
He was not particularly a good teacher, but he was a very inspiring man to have as the supervisor. I see. And when you started Chalmers, you must have been convinced that you were going to study science and engineering.
Oh, yeah. I did, and I was inclined toward theory, but then through Rydbeck, he put me on experimental projects as well, and through my father I had mechanical skills, and I could operate lathes and machines. So eventually, it became a combination of both experiments and theory. Did you have any feeling for what kind of life you were going to have as an engineer or physicist when you were in your undergraduate years?
Enjoy doing it, solving problems, and hopefully publishing some papers. That was on my mind already at that time. Yes, it was at Chalmers, too. When I got my degree at Chalmers, for the first time, they instituted a new field, which they called licentiate degree. It was a two-year graduate course on top of the undergraduate course, and I decided to take that. And at the same time, I got the job at Chalmers to take over the responsibility of the acoustics laboratory, because the man who ran that laboratory was going to leave after a year, so my supervisor Rydbeck talked me into, in combination with my licentiate studies, take over the responsibility for that lab.
So I had to quickly learn the fundamentals of acoustics, and it was with mixed feelings that I accepted this job. This is not at all for me.
But after 14 days or so, several people talked me into continuing. Some of them are very approximate, and the other learn to take averages and make good, sound engineering judgments on the result.
So once I got that into my blood, that when you are out in practice, you have to get used to not exact results all the time, but you have to make judgments. After having realized that, I sort of accepted it. Well, first of all, I had to go to military service. I went for two years, believe it or not. So I went in for two years.
But in the meantime, I had time to study on my own. So I did, and on top of that, I met Doris during that time. It was all right, but when I came back after military service to the laboratory, I had always thought very highly of MIT, and wanted very badly to get there, if possible.
But after the war, there was very little chance of getting dollars in the currency-in dollars, in Sweden. But fortunately, I discovered the Sweden-American Foundation issued a scholarship every year for studies in the United States. I hurried up and applied for that scholarship. I was kind of late in doing it, but I managed to get my application in in time. And lo and behold, I was awarded and got the funding with the help of my professors at Chalmers. They gave me nice recommendations.
So I ended up getting the fellowship. Once I got the fellowship, I was on my way, so to speak, to the United States. I had to arrange for a substitute person to be in charge of the acoustics laboratory, and a friend of mine by the name of Steve Ingemansson, he was up working in Stockholm, but I went to Stockholm and talked him into taking the job at Chalmers.
He accepted and came down. Also, in those days, there was a housing shortage in Sweden, so it was very, very difficult to get a place to live. But my friend Rydbeck, whose mother was a politician, she had all kinds of contacts everywhere.
She managed to get an apartment for Steve Ingemansson. He came down and got the apartment and moved in, and I went to the United States. Of course, there were many things before that. Before I went to the United States, unfortunately, I had a bad accident. So I ended up in the hospital with a severe brain concussion. I was in the hospital for maybe 14 days, three weeks, before I was even able to stand up.
The time for my departure came closer and closer, and I still was dizzy. And when I went-we were then married, Doris and I had gotten married in the meantime. Doris and I took the trip on the Queen Mary to America. I was still very dizzy, even on the boat. And when I came to New York, I really broke down with all this confusion and new experiences.
So I had a rough time.
Oral History Interviews
This transcript may not be quoted, reproduced or redistributed in whole or in part by any means except with the written permission of the American Institute of Physics. This transcript is based on a tape-recorded interview deposited at the Center for History of Physics of the American Institute of Physics. The AIP's interviews have generally been transcribed from tape, edited by the interviewer for clarity, and then further edited by the interviewee. If this interview is important to you, you should consult earlier versions of the transcript or listen to the original tape. For many interviews, the AIP retains substantial files with further information about the interviewee and the interview itself.
Obituary | Karl Uno Ingard