Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Shock cones? I'm confused.

  1. Mar 7, 2006 #1
    My teacher gave us a worksheet to prepare for the test tomorrow, and we never discussed anything about problems 10 to 14. I'm not asking for answers . . . just clarifications.

    1.) What is a shock cone, anyway?
    2.) What does Mach II, Mach III, etc. mean?
    3.) Are there certain equations that I have to use when solving problems about shock cones?

    I would really like to not post the questions on here, because I want to figure them out myself. Just answer my above questions for me as best as you can, and I'm hoping that will help me figure these out. Thanks!
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 7, 2006 #2


    User Avatar
    Homework Helper

    If you don't have a textbook ...
    When a sound source travels faster than the sound,
    the forward motion of the sound can't keep up.
    The sideways moving sound that was made "t" ago has traveled
    y = v_sound t , while the source has moved forward x = v_source t .
    There's a cone of sound wave-front that angles back from the source
    to the y-coordinate above.
    Can you draw this? Can you fingure what the tangent of the cone angle is?
    (The cone angle is measured from the path that the source has taken)
  4. Mar 7, 2006 #3
    Mach (X) means that the velocity of that particle is X times the speed of sound.

    So mach II would be twice the speed of sound.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook