Ultrasound - Definition and Application

Sound travels only through a medium and you can hear it only when the frequency of sound is within the audible range. For human beings, it is between 20Hz to 20KHz and it differs for every other living creature. However, students should note that sounds below and beyond this range are not audible to the human ear.

Although sounds of such high and low frequency exist, the human ear does not perceive it. You might have heard about bats being able to identify such sounds that the human ear is unable to trace. This is the most real-life application of ultrasound, and that is how they navigate through the dark. This stands true even though most of us have been learning it since childhood. 

What is the Ultrasonic Sound?

As already mentioned, sound can be beyond and below the human audible range. So, any sound that is higher than this range is called the ultrasonic sound. The application of ultrasonic sound is not just numerous, it is also highly beneficial.

Students are required to understand each application of ultrasonic waves in different fields for a clear understanding of this concept. Some of the common areas are medical, navigation, cleaning, etc. All these ultrasound uses are unique and have their respective areas of use.

What are the Applications of Ultrasonic Sound?

Ultrasonic sound has various applications in multiple fields due to its precision in results. It has been in use for a long time, and with the passage of time, it has only gained momentum. Scientists have found newer applications in the field of medical sciences, notably being that of treating patients and conducting minor surgeries. 

To Understand What is Ultrasound Used for, Here are a Few Examples in Detail for Your Convenience -

  • Ultrasonography

Commonly practised application of ultrasonic waves is in conducting ultrasonography. It is an imaging technique which is used by doctors to check on a developing baby.

  • Echolocation

Probably one of the most common uses of ultrasonic sound is echolocation. The flying mammals or bats use this locating technique to navigate to their prey in the dark.

  • Echocardiography

Echocardiography or what is precisely known as ECG is another popular medical application of ultrasound. Again an imaging technique, here the sound waves travel inside the body to present an image of the condition of a patient’s heart.

  • Clearing

Cleaning of spiral tubes and various electronic components are other applications of ultrasonic waves in physics. The materials to be cleaned are put in a liquid where such ultrasound is passed, and cleaning is carried out.

  • Crack Detection

Another ultrasonic sound and its application is in the detection of cracks. Usually, cracks or fissures in high buildings and significant metal components are detected through waves. 

  • Lithotripsy

Among other significant areas for application of ultrasound, a major one is that of conducting lithotripsy. It is the process of breaking stones in the kidney by passing waves of high frequency.

  • Sonar 

Submarines use this technique of passing high-frequency waves under water for navigational purposes. These sound waves can easily travel in water and are used for communication and detection of other submarines as well. 

Therefore, when you look for what are the uses of ultrasound, read about other applications too. It will help you in building a stronghold on the topics. Related concepts must also be read since this topic has innumerable applications.


To know more about ultrasound and its applications, you can look into our online study programs. Besides, you can also download our Vedantu app available for both iOS and Android users. The app can be especially helpful in understanding the application of ultrasound and related topics from the ease of your home.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. What is Ultrasonic Sound?

Ans. Ultrasonic sound is a specific wavelength of sound with a frequency that is above the human audible range. The human ear does not perceive this sound and it is commonly audible to bats.

2. What are the Uses of Ultrasound?

Ans. The different uses of ultrasound are in navigation, cleaning, medical field, crack detection in metals, etc. Out of these, the medical field has multiple applications like echocardiography, lithotripsy, ultrasonography.

3. What is Echolocation?

Ans. The most common application of ultrasound is echolocation, which is used by bats. These small flying mammals use this technique to navigate even in darkness and locate their prey.