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Difference between shock wave and shock ?

  1. Nov 23, 2011 #1
    So I know what a shock wave is but whats a shock ?
    is it just the front of the shock wave ?
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 19, 2011 #2
    A shock wave is also known as the sound frequency. Shock would be classified as the electromagnetic radiation frequency.
  4. Dec 23, 2011 #3
    You might be confused about your terminology onlinementor; your response isn't correct, and seems to be quite unrelated as-well.

    These are (obviously) very related terms. In general, a 'shock' is a contact discontinuity in pressure and/or density of a material. There is often (if not always) a similar discontinuity in temperature, specific energy, entropy etc.
    A 'shock wave' is a 'shock' which is propagating along/through the medium---e.g. from an explosion, or non-equilibrium accretion process.

    There can be 'standing shocks' in which the shock is stationary; generally this would not be referred to as a shock 'wave' (but the terminology is somewhat loose).
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