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Recreating a sonic boom in a controlled stationary environment

  1. Jun 24, 2014 #1
    What are the possibilities of creating small sonic boom(s) from commercial or consumer grade motors/centrifuges/fans bolted to the floor? If possible, is there anything available to the scientific community for such?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 24, 2014 #2


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    Welcome to PF.

    A sonic boom is the sound of a distant shock wave. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sonic_boom
    Shock waves are usually made using a “shock tube”. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shock_tube
    Chemical explosives, (strongly discouraged by PF), or electric discharges such as from a Marx impulse generator can also be used. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Impulse_generator#Marx_generator

    Why do you need to generate a sonic boom? You could just crack a whip.
    That reason will decide the easiest way to generate a sonic boom you require.
  4. Jun 24, 2014 #3


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    You can take a syringe, stick some plastic wrap between the needle and the syringe body and then push in the plunger, thereby making a miniature shock tube. As soon as you squeeze hard enough to pop the plastic wrap, that pop sound is the result of creating a shock wave and could be described as a sonic boom. It's just a little pop, though.

    That goes back to Baluncore's question: Why do you want to generate a sonic boom?
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