Physical Acoustics: Principles and Methods reviews the principles and methods of physical acoustics, with emphasis on applications of the thermal and acoustic response to light. Measurements in which a beam of light (or electrons) excites a system are presented, and information is obtained from the resulting thermal or acoustic waves. Comprised of seven chapters, this volume begins with a description of the use of number theory to design phase gratings and arrays with low directivity, followed by a comprehensive account of ultrasonic generation by pulsed lasers in gases, vapors, liquids, and solids. Thermoelastic generation at a free surface is considered, along with the effect of material ablation and the effect of surface modification by a thin liquid coating or constraining solid layer. Subsequent chapters focus on electron-acoustic imaging of solids; the theory of photothermal and photoacoustic effects in condensed matter; the use of photoacoustics to study the vibrational relaxation of molecules; and analytical applications of photoacoustic spectroscopy to condensed phase substances. The final chapter describes imaging with optically generated thermal waves. This book will be of interest to physicists.