PHYS 536: Introduction to Acoustics

last updated: 3/16/19
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Winter Quarter, 2019

Section A: PCE Reg. #19165 (for PCE PMSP/GNM students; register via PCE Time Schedule),
Section B: UW Reg. # 21987 (for students in other UW programs; register via UW Time Schedule)

T-Th, 7:00-8:50 pm
A-110 Physics-Astronomy Building (PAB)
4 credits

R. Jeffrey Wilkes,
Professor Emeritus of Physics
Office: B-208-A PAB (ring doorbell at entrance to lab B-208)
Phone: (206) 543-4232 (leave message)
Mailbox: in Physics Department office (C121 PAB)

Jared Dziurgot <>

Office: B-466 PAB
Office hours: 5:30-6:30 PM Thursdays

visualizing sound (bell labs 1950)

Check here frequently for new items (marked ).
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Physics PMSP students: register in Section A, online through UW PCE Time Schedule, use Registration #19165.
To get registration forms, contact Program Coordinator Brian Cox <>,  206-616-5104.

Students in other UW graduate programs, or undergraduates (get prior permission of instructor): register in Section B SLN 21987, through MyUW.

LECTURES SESSIONS AVAILABLE ONLINE (but in-person attendance recommended), using the Zoom videoconferencing system provided by PCE. Click on "How to connect" link below.  
Slides will be posted on this website, see link below. I will open the session at 6:45pm each night.
Practice using zoom before class - IF YOU HAVE TROUBLE CONNECTING, email me,  
Zoom online sessions will be recorded, see below for links.

Fundamentals of Acoustics, by Lawrence E. Kinsler, et al, Wiley, 3rd or 4th edition
Why You Hear What You Hear, by Eric J. Heller, Princeton University Press, 2013
Copies available at the University Book Store, UW branch.

After the first meeting, this will be a paperless course - no handouts. All needed materials will be posted here. Please print out and bring to class copies of lab handouts.
  1. Course information
  2. Syllabus and calendar
  3. How to connect to online sessions - the URL for our class is
    (Here is a pdf copy of Zoom instructions for students)
  4. Lecture notes (will appear here before class - but possibly as late as 6:45 pm!)  note: lecture 13 pddf file had permissions improperly set - you can read it now (2/21 9pm)
  5. Books on reserve 
  6. Suggestions for term paper topics
  7. Suggested problem sets and solutions ( NEW (solutions 2 posted)
  8. Canvas course page - will not be used except for posting grades. This is the course home page.
    1.   link to lecture recordings on Zoom 
      Files will be posted day after class. NOTE: due storage limit in Canvas, first few lecture recordings will be later archived and deleted from Canvas. Contact me if you need the files.
  9. ABOUT PRESENTATIONS (read this!) Please be sure that any file you send me has your name in its filename.
    • new All files (slides and notes) will be available for download here.
  10. NEW ABOUT THE FINAL EXAM (read these instructions!)
    • Final exam questions (pdf) - missing line at end of Q.10 is fixed, click reload to ensure you see new copy (3/16)
    • Final exam answer form (Catalyst WebQ) -  opens 9 pm Thursday 3/14 (after last class)
      • FORM WILL CLOSE 4 days later,  Monday 3/18, at 5 pm
    • After you submit your exam answers, class is over! It's been fun.
    • Answer sheet will be posted on Monday 3/18 after 5 pm.
  11. NEW Grades and comments for presentations ("paper #2") will be posted on Canvas by Monday 3/18.
  12. NEW Course grades will be posted on Catalyst Gradebook by Tuesday 3/19
    • JW will be away 3/19--3/30 - contact me before 3/19 if you have questions
  13. Please don't forget to fill in the online Course Evaluation (open now, closes 3/21)


snowflake In case of snow or other disruption, please check UW home page to see if UW is officially closed (extremely rare!). If not, class will be held as usual. If I cannot make it to campus, I will send email well before class time; we can have an online-only session.

All documents linked on this page R. J. Wilkes, 2018-19.