After 20 years of diffusion research, the ability has been developed to predict, measure, quantify, and optimize the scattering from sound scattering surfaces. The addition of these surfaces has signficantly expanded the acoustical palette and has found widespread use in all facets of architectural acoustic design. In this paper, the historical development of sound diffusing surfaces that have predictable performance is presented, and their applications are illustrated. The theory that allows prediction and optimization of performance is described, together with measurement techniques to quantify the directivity and scattering coefficient. The review concludes with a description of the properties of all the classes of diffusing surfaces available at present.
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