A sonic boom is the sound associated with the shock waves created by an object traveling through the air faster than the speed of sound. Also, it’s Guile’s signature special attack in Street Fighter (hold away – Towards + Punch).
The most known sonic boom, is the one that Supersonic Aircrafts produce. When the aircraft flies, creates a series of pressure waves in front and behind it. These waves travel at the speed of sound. The faster the plane is going, the waves are forced together, or compressed because they are getting in each other’s way. Ultimately when the aircraft reaches Mach 1 (1225 km/h), they merge into a single shock wave, which travels at the speed of sound.
The shock wave, forms a “Mach” cone, with the aircraft as a tip. These sound waves ultimately reaches the surface of the earth, where the people can hear them as a deep double “boom”. That noise, is the reason why there weren’t any commercial Supersonic flights even when Concorde, the famous supersonic passenger airplane, was still traveling. Lately, NASA, started to research how they can reduce sonic boom’s noise and make Supersonic commercial flights possible for everyone.
The half-angle between direction of flight and the shock wave α is given by:
Mach number equation will help us solve this. In fluid mechanics, Mach number (M or Ma) is a dimensionless quantity representing the ratio of speed of an object moving through a fluid and the local speed of sound.
Mach number varies by the composition of the surrounding medium and also by local conditions, especially temperature and pressure. The Mach number can be used to determine if a flow can be treated as an incompressible flow. If M < 0.2–0.3 and the flow is (quasi) steady and isothermal, compressibility effects will be small and a simplified incompressible flow model can be used.
V: Velocity of the object (or Vobject) and Vsound: Speed of sound in the medium (m/s)
And some trivia:
The cracking sound a bullwhip makes when properly wielded is, in fact, a small sonic boom. The end of the whip, known as the “cracker”, moves faster than the speed of sound, thus creating a sonic boom. The whip is probably the first human invention to break the sound barrier.
As always, you can try using fxSolver, with the Mach Number equation in our database.
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