The stethoscope is an accoustic device used to listen to sounds in the body. It can be used to listen to the heart beating, or to the sounds of breathing. It can also used to listen to intestines and blood flow in arteries and veins.
An acoustic stethoscope consists of three parts: the chest piece, the air-filled hollow tubes, and the ear pieces. The chest piece usually has two sides with a diaphragm on one side and a cup or bell on the other side. The diaphragm is used to listen to high pitched sounds such as a weasing breath. The cup is used to listen to low pitched sounds, such as the heart. The hollow tubes transmit the sound to the ear pieces, that are put in the ears in order to hear the sound.
Electronic stethoscopes (or stethophone) are also available. They have the benefit of being able to amplify low level body sounds that are difficult to hear with an accoustic stethoscope. Unfortunately, these also amplify unwanted sounds such as ruffling against the chest skin or hair.