Annual Report of the Technical Committee on Physical Acoustics 2004---2005

Annual Report of the Technical Committee on Physical Acoustics
2004-- 2005

It is my distinct pleasure to reflect on the past year's activities in Physical Acoustics. We've been re-defining ourselves over the past few years. The 'hot' fields of sonoluminescence and thermoacoustics have taken a back seat as funding levels have decreased (new discoveries may yet help stimulate more funding). New areas are also emerging (examples include monitoring the Earth, condensed matter, medical acoustics, and Homeland Security research). This is reflected in recent and upcoming special sessions: e.g., Infrasound, Sounds Speeds in Condensed Matter, Shock Wave Therapy, and Applications of Acoustic Radiation Pressure.

After the huge New York meeting, it would have been reasonable to have a small Physical Acoustics turnout at the Fall San Diego meeting, but that was not the case. We had sessions Monday through Thursday. Both special sessions had standing-room only crowds. The session on Sonoluminescence, Sonochemistry, and Sonofusion was exhilarating. Invited speakers came from all over the world, and from academia and industry, to share their most recent discoveries. It is worth noting that from the beginning, when single-bubble sonoluminescence was discovered (pre-1990), the leaders in this important field have had their roots in Physical Acoustics and the ASA. The special session on Applications of Acoustic Radiation Pressure was also standing room only. This session covered a wide range of topics, from basic physics to applications. We wish to thank the organizers for these sessions, Tom Matula and Greg Kaduchak. In addition to the special sessions, there was sufficient interest in the San Diego meeting (perhaps the weather had some role!) to generate several contributed sessions, including Sound propagation in ground, and in the atmosphere, materials characterization, and time reversal.

The Spring meeting was held in Vancouver, BC. The meeting was larger than expected, and Physical Acoustics sessions ran all week, with some unavoidable concurrent sessions. A major special session was organized on Infrasound: A new Frontier in Monitoring the Earth, organized by Michael Hedlin. It is this author's impression that significant gaps remain between data gathering/reduction/analysis and predictive capabilities. This rapidly growing field is in dire need of Physical Acousticians (graduate students take note!). During the open TC meeting, Hank Bass even suggested that funding for this area may be increasing. This is good news for a TC that has taken some hits with decreased funding levels from ONR over the past several years.

We also had special sessions in scattering from non-canonical objects, organized by Steve Kargl; stochastic scattering of elastic and seismic waves, organized by Richard Weaver, and another in the line of Physical Acoustics Living Legends sessions, organized by Larry Crum for Wes Nyborg. This session was co-run with B&B, as Wes's contributions significantly influenced the growth of B&B. There has been a lot of positive feedback on continuing these topical Living Legend sessions. Physical Acoustics also shared the stage during the "Hot Topics" session. Thanks to Albert Migliori for taking on the job of presenting our hot topics.

Physical Acoustics takes special pride in acknowledging our most recent award recipients: David Blackstock received the inaugural Student Council Mentoring Award in San Diego. David is continuously promoting and advancing student participation in science and the ASA. The Helmholtz-Rayleigh Interdisciplinary Silver Medal in Noise and Physical Acoustics went to Gilles Daigle. Gilles received the award at the Vancouver meeting. The Rossing Prize in Acoustics Education went to Allan Pierce at the San Diego meeting. Allan's recognition didn't stop there; he was awarded the Gold medal in Vancouver. Congratulations to all our award recipients. A job well done!

I'd like to take this opportunity to advertise for the Physical Acoustics Summer School (PASS), held every two years. The next school will be held in June of 2006. This highly successful school takes students on a week-long intellectual journey through many areas touched by physical acoustics. Although funding for the school from ONR is gone, NCPA and Penn State are trying to bridge the gap until new funding can be obtained.

I want to also take the time to acknowledge members of Physical Acoustics who volunteer their services on various committees: Robert 'Bonzo' Keolian serves on the Medals and Awards committee; Steve Garrett serves on the Membership Committee; Phil Marston serves on the Books committee, and Sameer Madanshetty serves on ASACOS. Associate editors also deserve accolades; their hard work helps keep JASA the premier journal for physical acoustics publications. It is also a pleasure to acknowledge Physical Acoustics members who are active in leadership roles in the ASA. Mark Hamilton is now past vice-president of the ASA, the editor-in-chief is Alan Pierce, and Anthony Atchley was just elected President! Congratulations Anthony!

Finally, I wish to humbly thank the Physical Acoustics community for entrusting me to serve as Chair over the past three years. It's been a privilege and honor to serve you. I especially would like to thank the more experienced members for their advice and encouragement over the years. Now, I pass the crown to our new Chair, Murray Korman. Have a great time, Murray; I did!