The physical and technical foundations of investigations with diagnostic ultrasound are discussed. Two questions need to be answered: what is ultrasound, and how does an ultrasonic device operate? The mechanical properties of the human body are described by physical laws, such as the propagation of ultrasound waves, the interaction of ultrasound with tissue, attenuation, reflection, refraction, etc. Today high-technology ultrasonic devices are driven by computers. Imaging of the same kidney with different devices shows the progress made in image quality over a period of about 15 years. Details of tissue and biometry are largely enhanced. Powerful tools allow different forms of precise analysis of online measurements. Advanced handling of information gives further opportunities to image processing. The final question is the extent to which the physician and surgeon want to work with such as sophisticated high-technology imaging system and learn to manage its hard- and software.

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