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Shock wave?

  1. Jul 20, 2004 #1

    wolram

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    Im not sure if this is the right forum for this question as im unsure
    where it fits.
    I always think of a Shock Wave as something that travels through
    a medium, as in a sonic boom from an aircraft, but some talk of shock waves
    in space, as in the shock wave from a supernova, is this the correct
    terminology? Do shock waves travel in a vacuum, if so what are they?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 21, 2004 #2
    i'm sorry i don't have a productive post, but i'm surprised nobody has given an answer

    i don't know if this is right, but I would think that the shockwave from a supernova would be a wavefront of matter that is propagating through space away from the explosion

    or, it is a the wavefront of EM radiation that was radiated all at the same time as it came from an explosion and since it's a lot of energy travelling 'together', then it would 'shock' anything it passed
     
  4. Jul 21, 2004 #3

    wolram

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    shrumeo , thanks for reply, i have looked and googled, but it must
    be one of those questions no one really thinks about.
     
  5. Jul 21, 2004 #4
    If gravitational waves exist, then perhaps a wave front could be a gravity wave produced when mass collapses towards the center but then abruptly changes direction as it is forced outward by the explosion. I'm not sure about that. Maybe there is such a spherical symmetry that all of such gravity waves would cancel. But such a wave would travel at the speed of light

    There is also an echo that occurs as light bounces off interstellar dust. Such an echo would appear to be a right of light growing with time. It is of the order of the speed of light also.

    I've heard that there is also a neutrino surge that accompanies the initial explosion. It travels near the speed of light, but I don't know what damage that could cause if any.

    And of course, just the light burst itself may cause the solar winds to change course and all blow in one direction. Such a dense concentration might offer a very quick change in gravitational field.
     
  6. Jul 22, 2004 #5

    wolram

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    Mike 2
    I've heard that there is also a neutrino surge that accompanies the initial explosion. It travels near the speed of light, but I don't know what damage that could cause if any.
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    I have the idea that radiation would do all the damage, any object in the path
    of such an event is fried, but it seems we are of one mind about the "shock",
    If an object were impervious to radiation would it feel anything?
     
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