PHYS 536: Introduction to Acoustics

Preliminary - subject to change until January, 2023, and frequent updates during the term.

last updated: March 9, 2023
Click RELOAD in your browser to make sure you have the latest version of this page

Winter Quarter, 2023

Section B: PCE Reg. #19576 (for PCE PMSP/GNM students; register via PCE Time Schedule),
Section A: UW Reg. # 19575 (for students in other UW programs; register via UW Time Schedule)

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

R. Jeffrey Wilkes,
Professor Emeritus of Physics
Office: B-208-A PAB (by appointment only)
Phone: (206) 543-4232 (leave message)
Mailbox: in Physics Department office (C121 PAB)

NEW TA: Yiyun Dong <>
While her main job is to grade papers, Ms Dong can help you if you get stuck on the homework problems.  Contact her by email if you want to make an appointment for phone or zoom meetings.

visualizing sound (bell labs 1950)

Check here frequently for new items (marked ).
Click "ctrl-reload" to ensure you are not just viewing a cached copy of earlier web content!

Physics PMSP students: register in Section B, online through UW PCE Time Schedule, use Registration #19576.
Students in other UW graduate programs, or undergraduates (get prior permission of instructor): register in Section A Registration #19575, through MyUW.

Class will meet online via Zoom except for a few (previously announced) sessions where I will do classroom demonstrations. However, ALL LECTURE SESSIONS WILL BE AVAILABLE ONLINE, using the Zoom videoconferencing system. Click on "How to connect" 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  sessions will be recorded, see below for links.
All slides shown will be posted on this website, see link below.

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.
  1. Course information
  2. Syllabus and calendar
  3. How to connect to online sessions (links on course Canvas page).
    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!) 
  5. Books on reserve 
  6. Suggestions for term paper topics
  7. Suggested problem sets and solutions
    new Set 2 solutions are now posted
  8. Canvas course page - will not be used except for posting grades.
    is the course home page.)
  9. link to lecture recordings on Canvas/Panopto 
    Files will be available the day after class. NOTE: due storage limit in Canvas, the first few lecture recordings will later be archived and deleted from Canvas. Contact me if you need the files.
  10. new PRESENTATION SCHEDULE - check here for your time slot!
  11. new Presentation files submitted by students - will be posted just before each session
  12. new Final exam information Use link below to download exam.
    Link to exam file (exam will be available after class on Thursday 3/9 - answers posted here 3/18)


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 campus is officially open but I cannot make it to campus, I will send email well before class time, and we will have an online-only session.

All documents linked on this page R. J. Wilkes, 2022-23.