Can you break the sound barrier under water?

  • #1
Has it be done? And whats the sound barrier in space and can it be broken?
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
negitron
Science Advisor
842
1
There is no sound barrier in space.

In fresh water at 20 C, the speed of sound is ~1482 m/s; tough to beat in a medium that's about 1000 times as dense as air.
 
  • #3
jambaugh
Science Advisor
Insights Author
Gold Member
2,234
264
Certainly a normal sized object can in principle pass through a body of water faster than the speed of sound in the water. But in so doing I don't think you can say its "in water" anymore as the objects passage would create a large cavitation and vaporize the surrounding water.

An example I would imagine is substantial sized meteor hitting the ocean. Likely you have cases of the meteor drilling though to the ocean floor faster than conventional sound would travel from surface to floor.

But again I wouldn't call it breaking the sound barrier in water so much as breaking the water itself. The big difference is that water is effectively incompressible while air is compressible. This means the speed of sound in water is very very high. The expansion/compression happening on both sides of the shock wave formed by an object in the air would not necessarily change the phase. This can't really happen with water. The shock-wave formed would be a boundary between water and very high pressure steam.

I would add to negatron's comment ...
remember "In space, noone can hear you scream!"
 
  • #4
no sound barrier in space? so if i yell in another galaxy earth would hear it instantly?
 
  • #5
2,479
99
no sound barrier in space? so if i yell in another galaxy earth would hear it instantly?
In space no one can hear you scream.Sound needs a medium(solid liquid or gas) to travel through.No medium no sound.
 
  • #6
aha... thats weird. so how would you go about hearing what the sun sounds like?
 
  • #7
Danger
Gold Member
9,607
246
I would have to have a military expert such as Russ or Andre to verify this, but I'm pretty sure that both the US and the Russians developed supersonic torpedoes. They are essentially underwater rockets.
It seems to me that at least one of the designs vented pressurized air from the nose in order to form a bubble around itself and thus minimize water resistance.
 
  • #8
Danger
Gold Member
9,607
246
aha... thats weird. so how would you go about hearing what the sun sounds like?
You get a fire-proof microphone and stick into the sun to a depth where the gas/plasma density is high enough to conduct sound.
You will need a really long cable, and it will deafen you.
 
  • #9
37
0
You get a fire-proof microphone and stick into the sun to a depth where the gas/plasma density is high enough to conduct sound.
You will need a really long cable, and it will deafen you.
I've just gotta ask - of what material will said microphone and cable be constructed? In order to avoid being vaporized, will you install the device at night?
 
  • #10
811
6
aha... thats weird. so how would you go about hearing what the sun sounds like?
Is it just me, or does this question smell funny?
 
  • #11
Is it just me, or does this question smell funny?
trolling a bit but i am curious what a nuclear fusion sounds like.
 
  • #12
811
6
trolling a bit but i am curious what a nuclear fusion sounds like.
Maybe I needed to say a bit more so it didn't come off that way.

Emergent phenomena only make sense in the domain which they apply. Billiard balls don't exert pressure along the surface of a pool table. A hydrogen atom doesn't have a temperature. And you can't have sound without having something to propagate it. Oh. And sentences don't have odors ;-)
 
  • #13
Danger
Gold Member
9,607
246
In order to avoid being vaporized, will you install the device at night?
Of course.
I was thinking of a rubber cable in a braided silk sheath. The microphone housing would, naturally, have to be composed of Silly Putty.
 
  • #14
Well this thread made me laugh!
 
  • #15
Danger
Gold Member
9,607
246
Well this thread made me laugh!
Jeez, but you are easily amused... :biggrin:
 
  • #16
russ_watters
Mentor
19,878
6,297
I would have to have a military expert such as Russ or Andre to verify this, but I'm pretty sure that both the US and the Russians developed supersonic torpedoes. They are essentially underwater rockets.
It seems to me that at least one of the designs vented pressurized air from the nose in order to form a bubble around itself and thus minimize water resistance.
Rocket propelled torpedos yes, supersonic no. IIRC, they go a couple hundred mph.
 
  • #17
mgb_phys
Science Advisor
Homework Helper
7,774
13
It seems to me that at least one of the designs vented pressurized air from the nose in order to form a bubble around itself and thus minimize water resistance.
The russian Shkval super cavitating torpedeo can do 400km/h using a film of bubbles

Particles (eg neutrinos) of course can go faster than light in water.
 
  • #18
Danger
Gold Member
9,607
246
Thanks, both Russ and Mgb for clarifying that. My memory is always a bit hazy.
 
  • #19
Borek
Mentor
28,544
2,985
Could be Kursk sunk after Shkval torpedo accident.
 
  • #20
Danger
Gold Member
9,607
246
Could be Kursk sunk after Shkval torpedo accident.
It was widely reported that it was a torpedo accident, but I don't recall hearing a model name or number associated with it. It's quite possible that it was a Shkval. A warhead is a warhead, though, regardless of the delivery system. It could just as easily have been a defective mine, or whatever else they carry. (I do have the armaments of almost all subs available, but I don't know exactly where the book is since I'm in the midst of moving.)
 
  • #21
71
0
Sorry for dig this topic up, but It's match my curiosity as well.

I know that meteor hitting water faster than sound so it just drill water around.

But

What about object that originally under water?

like... something at bottom of ocean suddenly floating and gain speed up to March 2 or 3.

or alien submarine that can move faster than sound (The abyss)

......................................

English is not my native language, Sorry of I'm wrong in spelling or gamma.
 
  • #22
31
0
aha... thats weird. so how would you go about hearing what the sun sounds like?
The average speed of sound in air at earth's surface is around 330 meters per second. There is a very slim chance that enough air molecules or hydrogen molecules or some gas molecules would be lined up between here and the sun in just the right positions to propagate sound, but if they were, then I guess it would not be space in that region.
 
  • #23
52
0
aha... thats weird. so how would you go about hearing what the sun sounds like?
Well it's not really how the sun sounds like, but scientists can in fact "listen" to the sun. What they have done is simply just listen to the radio-waves that come from the sun. It was first heard back when the telephone was invented, through the background noise. No one knew where it was coming from, but years later (now) it's verified that it was indeed the sun.
 

Related Threads on Can you break the sound barrier under water?

Replies
8
Views
8K
Replies
6
Views
3K
Replies
1
Views
780
Replies
1
Views
845
  • Last Post
Replies
0
Views
2K
  • Last Post
Replies
3
Views
2K
  • Last Post
Replies
11
Views
3K
Replies
16
Views
3K
  • Last Post
Replies
4
Views
3K
Top