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Departments' graduate courses for PhD-students.


Syllabus for

Academic year
VTA121 - Introduction to sound and vibration
Syllabus adopted 2008-02-18 by Head of Programme (or corresponding)
Owner: TKVOV
7,5 Credits
Grading: TH - Five, Four, Three, Not passed
Education cycle: First-cycle

Teaching language: Swedish

Course module   Credit distribution   Examination dates
Sp1 Sp2 Sp3 Sp4 No Sp
0106 Examination 7,5 c Grading: TH   7,5 c   09 Mar 2009 am V,  Contact examiner,  Contact examiner

In programs



Professor  Wolfgang Kropp


VTA120   Building acoustics

Course evaluation:

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For single subject courses within Chalmers programmes the same eligibility requirements apply, as to the programme(s) that the course is part of.

Course specific prerequisites

Basic knowledge concerning wave propagation, complex notation and physics in general


Sound and vibration properties are important for quality and functionality of products, buildings, and outdoor environments. Engineers involved in development and design must have basic understanding of sound and vibration properties in order to avoid products, buildings, and environments with unwanted acoustical properties. The aim of this course is therefore to give the students the opportunity to
(i) learn to understand the physical phenomena and behaviours present in the field of sound and vibrations,
(ii) learn to solve problems in the field of sound and vibration in a wide range of applications in industry and society, and
(iii) learn to report their knowledge, problems, and solutions to other engineers.
The course should give students from different educational programmes (e.g. from V or M) the opportunity to develop towards professionals with a combination of both programme specific knowledge and knowledge in sound and vibration.
The course is in addition a preparatory course for further studies in the Masters programme Sound and Vibration.

Learning outcomes (after completion of the course the student should be able to)

  • describe and apply the fundamental concepts used in the field of sound and vibration (e.g. sound pressure, rms, levels, acoustic impedance, A-weighting filters),
  • describe and interpret acoustic signals in the time and frequency domain, along with be able to apply complex notation to describe wave motion,
  • explain the physical processes that leads to wave motion,
  • apply the equations that describes wave motion in fluids and solids in order to describe wave propagation and reflection/transmission at interfaces between different materials,
  • explain the properties and application areas for elementary acoustical sources,
  • explain the physical phenomena that may affect sound propagation, along with applying these in explanations of observed phenomena, e.g. in sound propagation outdoors,
  • explain briefly how humans perceive exposure of sound and vibrations,
  • explain the coupling between wave in fluids and solids, along with be able to apply this theory to predict sound and vibration behaviour,
  • use treatments such as damping/absorption, sound isolation, and shielding to solve acoustic problems,
  • execute simpler measurements to characterise sound and vibrations, and
  • present written technical reports about problems, solutions, results and suggested treatments within the field of sound and vibration.


In the course we treat many concepts and physical phenomena in the field of sound and vibration. Fundamental topics are investigated in detail, while other topics are presented more briefly. The connection to practical applications is an important part of the course.

The course covers the following content:

  • Writing reports on sound and vibration investigations.
  • Overview of sound and vibration in industry and society.
  • Basic description of sound and vibration:
    Levels, intensity, power, acoustical impedance, mobility, complex notation of harmonic motion, etc.
  • Basic measurement techniques and presentation of data:
    Time average / equivalent levels, spectra, third octave band spectra, transfer functions, the A-weighting filter, etc.
  • Sound propagation in fluids (air):
    Wave equation in fluids, elementary acoustical sources, addition of sound pressure, coherent/incoherent source, physical phenomena affecting propagating sound waves (e.g. reflection, transmission, refraction), meteorology effects on sound propagation outdoors.
  • Reduction of sound in ducts:
  • Noise generation / noise sources: Road traffic noise, noise sources in vehicles, noise sources in buildings.
  • Structure-borne sound:
    Longitudinal waves, bending waves, vibrations in infinite and finite beam and plates, response of structures.
  • Vehicle acoustics:
    Overall criteria and methodology, component analysis, order analysis, acoustical sources on vehicles, transfer path analysis (TPA).
  • Description of sound and vibration fields:
    Wave models, modal models, and statistical models.
  • Coupling between waves in air and structures:
    Sound radiation, radiation impedance, radiation efficiency, and treatments to reduce sound radiation.
  • Treatments to reduce noise:
    Sound and vibration isolation and damping/absorption in buildings and vehicles, and shielding outdoors.


The course contains ca 14 x 2 hours lectures and ca 7 x 2 hours exercises including supervision of project work carried out by students.
The course is given in cooperation with external teachers working as sound- and vibration consultants in the vehicle and building industry. The cooperation assures that the course has a strong connection to the problems and applications treated in the industry. The external teachers hold lectures covering their field of specialisation.
Project work related to practical applications from vehicle acoustics and building acoustics should be carried out and be reported in technical reports by the students. Lectures, exercises, and supervision will support the students in their work.
The course will also include an experimental laboratory exercise where the students will learn to carry out basic measurements in the field of sound and vibration.


Material procuced at Applied Acoustics.


Examination is based on a written exam, grading TH, and written reports about the project work, grading TH, along with approved laboratory exercise. Grading from written exam and written reports of project work in evenly weighted for the final grade.

Page manager Published: Thu 04 Feb 2021.