Register to reply

How and why are shock waves produced in breaking objects?

by autodidude
Tags: objects, produced, shock, waves
Share this thread:
autodidude
#1
Jan5-13, 12:52 AM
P: 333
The example I have in mind is when a pole vaulter's pole breaks. I remember at last year's Olympics one of the commentators made a commenf about thw shock waves thag would've been travelling through the pole and the guy's hands when it broke.

I did a search and it was mentioned in some comments on YouTube that it would feel kind of like (but worse) hitting a something with a baseball bat but neither object breaking. Would whatever hurts your hands in this case be the same as the above?

And one more example...when I cut the inner plastic tube of a pen it started to hurt my fingers more and more as it got shorter (kept cuting it in half).

Assuming these are all shock waves, how are they caused? What would be going on at a molecular level at the breaking point? also, would they be able to do damage if you are close to but not touching the surface of the object?

Thanks
Phys.Org News Partner Physics news on Phys.org
Physicists unlock nature of high-temperature superconductivity
Serial time-encoded amplified microscopy for ultrafast imaging based on multi-wavelength laser
Measuring the smallest magnets: Physicists measured magnetic interactions between single electrons
jedishrfu
#2
Jan5-13, 01:20 AM
P: 2,803
when you bend a pole vaulters pole you need to apply a force to bend it a certain amount and if it snaps that energy is released and the pole tries to go back to being straight but it does this by oscillating back and forth. The oscillation is felt by the pole vaulter as he tries to hold onto his pole.

A simple analogy is to look at a diving board after someone has dived off. It oscillates back and forth until the energy is dissipated.
Bobbywhy
#3
Jan5-13, 04:04 AM
PF Gold
P: 1,883
autodidude, It’s important to always use the correct scientific terms when describing physical actions. I am not sure the breaking of a pole vaulter’s pole creates a shock wave. Although solids do support the propagation of a shock wave, I could find no example given on this Wikipedia page:

“A shock wave (also called shock front or simply "shock") is a type of propagating disturbance. Like an ordinary wave, it carries energy and can propagate through a medium (solid, liquid, gas or plasma)”
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shock_wave

Hopefully some real physicist can enlighten us all: Does the breaking of a pole vaulter’s pole cause a shock wave to propagate in it?

jedishrfu
#4
Jan5-13, 05:55 AM
P: 2,803
How and why are shock waves produced in breaking objects?

Not sure if this is a good resource but this blog post forum discussion I found talks about one break initiating a shock wave that in turn causes other breaks in the pole.

Re: why poles break...
by Decamouse Ľ Sun May 16, 2010 9:43 am

Lets assume perfect world first - pole is designed and vaulter vaults such that the stress is perfectly distributed throughout - - it would fail in multiple places at the same instant -- real world -- on a vault where the energy input into the pole is at or even exceeds it capabilty to store - a fraqcture/failure occurs - could even occur it a few spots nearly at the same time --- if you had a super high speed camera you would probably see that one spot fails first - and the shock wave of this added to the already highly stressed areas initiates the other breaks

I have seen in testing where you could get a many as fiften other fracture points (not complete failure of the composite - but failure of layers) --

...
from blog:

http://www.polevaultpower.com/forum/...=19848#p142082
jedishrfu
#5
Jan7-13, 02:19 PM
P: 2,803
Here's a related article with spaghetti as the breakee:

http://plus.maths.org/content/spaghe...hrough?src=aop
autodidude
#6
Jan15-13, 10:51 PM
P: 333
Quote Quote by jedishrfu View Post
when you bend a pole vaulters pole you need to apply a force to bend it a certain amount and if it snaps that energy is released and the pole tries to go back to being straight but it does this by oscillating back and forth. The oscillation is felt by the pole vaulter as he tries to hold onto his pole.

A simple analogy is to look at a diving board after someone has dived off. It oscillates back and forth until the energy is dissipated.
So after it breaks, it's oscillating and it's this oscillating that causes the pain?

Quote Quote by Bobbywhy View Post
autodidude, Itís important to always use the correct scientific terms when describing physical actions. I am not sure the breaking of a pole vaulterís pole creates a shock wave. Although solids do support the propagation of a shock wave, I could find no example given on this Wikipedia page:

ďA shock wave (also called shock front or simply "shock") is a type of propagating disturbance. Like an ordinary wave, it carries energy and can propagate through a medium (solid, liquid, gas or plasma)Ē
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shock_wave

Hopefully some real physicist can enlighten us all: Does the breaking of a pole vaulterís pole cause a shock wave to propagate in it?
Yeah, I'm not knowledgeable to know the difference yet though! :p

Quote Quote by jedishrfu View Post
Not sure if this is a good resource but this blog post forum discussion I found talks about one break initiating a shock wave that in turn causes other breaks in the pole.



from blog:

http://www.polevaultpower.com/forum/...=19848#p142082
Thanks, I came across that when I did the search but I'm not it sure it really explains what I'm after
JustinRyan
#7
Jan16-13, 12:22 AM
P: 87
Quote Quote by autodidude View Post
And one more example...when I cut the inner plastic tube of a pen it started to hurt my fingers more and more as it got shorter (kept cuting it in half).
\Thanks
How were you cutting the pen? A shorter segment is more rigid and the natural frequency of oscillation would be higher. But the increased level of pain may be an accumulative effect.
sophiecentaur
#8
Jan16-13, 05:28 PM
Sci Advisor
PF Gold
sophiecentaur's Avatar
P: 11,923
You really need to think of the definition of a shock wave. That, afaik, is what happens when a part of a substance is forced to travel faster than the propagation of sound (wave propagation) in the medium. (As with the shock wave produced in supersonic flight). When an object is broken, the speed of part of the object would need to be faster than the wave speed in the substance. I guess this is possible if the shape of the break is suitable but I can't actually think of an example.
Shock waves do not last long when travelling in a medium - they slow down and become normal sound waves within a wavelength or so.
haruspex
#9
Jan16-13, 06:03 PM
Homework
Sci Advisor
HW Helper
Thanks
P: 9,645
Quote Quote by jedishrfu View Post
Here's a related article with spaghetti as the breakee:

http://plus.maths.org/content/spaghe...hrough?src=aop
What that article fails to make clear is that the secondary break is in the reverse direction. This shows that it is not the simultaneous failure hinted at by Decamouse, but rather a result of recoil.
autodidude
#10
Jan24-13, 08:07 AM
P: 333
Quote Quote by JustinRyan View Post
How were you cutting the pen? A shorter segment is more rigid and the natural frequency of oscillation would be higher. But the increased level of pain may be an accumulative effect.
I used a pair of scissors. Ah, that makes sense.

Quote Quote by sophiecentaur View Post
You really need to think of the definition of a shock wave. That, afaik, is what happens when a part of a substance is forced to travel faster than the propagation of sound (wave propagation) in the medium. (As with the shock wave produced in supersonic flight). When an object is broken, the speed of part of the object would need to be faster than the wave speed in the substance. I guess this is possible if the shape of the break is suitable but I can't actually think of an example.
Shock waves do not last long when travelling in a medium - they slow down and become normal sound waves within a wavelength or so.
So then technically, it doesn't really make sense to speak of shock waves in breaking objects? It's actually these oscillations that have been mentioned that are dangerous?
sophiecentaur
#11
Jan24-13, 08:54 AM
Sci Advisor
PF Gold
sophiecentaur's Avatar
P: 11,923
Perhaps you could say it's sometimes the initial shock wave that starts the fracture, then the local stress breaks the obhect further and further. The shock wave explanation probably only applies to certain (brittle) materials like ceramics and not to most metals.
autodidude
#12
Feb15-13, 09:01 AM
P: 333
Sorry to bring this up again but I came across the usage of the term 'shock wave' again and not sure if it's the correct term. The context is the effects on impact on the human body during car crashes.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EtlUBAWHjKM (~15:15)

'..the impact produces a shockwave that moves through the body similar to a sound wave moving through air...'

And he hits a gel with a mallet and there's a visible wave that moves through the gel - is that technically a shock wave? He also says the wave changes speed as it moves through the human tissue of differing densities producing 'complex wave interactions' that cause stress and strain in the tissues and organs.

What are these 'complex wave interactions' and how do they cause stress and strain?


Register to reply

Related Discussions
Shock waves and sound waves General Physics 8
Colours of objects produced by light due to reflection & absorption Classical Physics 1
How are stationary waves produced in an air column different from normal Waves? Advanced Physics Homework 0
Shock waves General Physics 1
Bow Shock Waves Introductory Physics Homework 1