Two related numerical models that calculate the time-dependent pressure field radiated by an arbitrary photoacoustic source in a fluid, such as that generated by the absorption of a short laser pulse, are presented. Frequency-wavenumber (k-space) implementations have been used to produce fast and accurate predictions. Model I calculates the field everywhere at any instant of time, and is useful for visualizing the three-dimensional evolution of the wave field. Model II calculates pressure time series for points on a straight line or plane and is therefore useful for simulating array measurements. By mapping the vertical wavenumber spectrum directly to frequency, this model can calculate time series up to 50 times faster than current numerical models of photoacoustic propagation. As the propagating and evanescent parts of the field are calculated separately, model II can be used to calculate far- and near-field radiation patterns. Also, it can readily be adapted to calculate the velocity potential and thus particle velocity and acoustic intensity vectors. Both models exploit the efficiency of the fast Fourier transform, and can include the frequency-dependent directional response of an acoustic detector straightforwardly. The models were verified by comparison with a known analytic solution and a slower, but well-understood, numerical model. © 2005 Acoustical Society of America.