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Sound transmission through gas–solid interfaces is usually very weak because of the large contrast in wave impedances at the interface. Here, it is shown that diffraction effects can lead to a dramatic increase in the transparency of gas–solid interfaces at low frequencies, resulting in the bulk of energy emitted by compact sources within a solid being radiated into a gas. The anomalous transparency is made possible by power fluxes in evanescent body waves and by excitation of interface waves. Sound transmission into gas is found to be highly sensitive to absorption of elastic waves within a solid.


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