Speed of shockwaves

  • #1
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To put it simply, can a shock wave move faster than the speed of sound?

A lot of people seem to think so, and it might even be, but based on the wrong arguments. 'Sonic boom is caused when an object is travelling faster than the speed of sound' so the argument starts. OK, that is clearly the wrong start of an argument but the question is still a good one.

I never studied fluid physics before, but my intuition suggests shock waves can move faster than the speed of sound but it soon reduces to speed of sound.

To make the problem a little more specific, let's consider a stationary dynamite exploding.
 

Answers and Replies

  • #3
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Thanks for the link, it does answer the question :D I was looking at the shock wave page only.
 
  • #4
davenn
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so what SPECIFICALLY is your question ?

this one ?
To put it simply, can a shock wave move faster than the speed of sound?
yes

I never studied fluid physics before, but my intuition suggests shock waves can move faster than the speed of sound but it soon reduces to speed of sound.
maybe you should ;)

but it soon reduces to speed of sound.
That tells me nothing specific or useable

How quickly and how much it will slow will depend on what the shock wave is travelling through
type of material, its density, temperature to name 3 variables


To make the problem a little more specific, let's consider a stationary dynamite exploding.
That link I gave you gives important information on what kinds of explosives or other factors will or will not create a blast wave/shock wave as does the wiki on shock waves ....

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shock_wave


Dave
 
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  • #5
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To quote myself
To put it simply, can a shock wave move faster than the speed of sound?
And the answer is 'yes'.
 
  • #6
davenn
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To quote myself

And the answer is 'yes'.

and your point is ?

The wiki link told you that ;)
 
  • #7
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I know. I'm under the impression that you misread my previous post. I said "thanks for the link. it does answer the question". And that was it.
 
  • #8
davenn
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LOL DOH

I humbly apologise ... I need new glasses ( wait a minute they are relatively new ...maybe new eyes)

Sorry buddy :)

Dave
 
  • #9
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Haha That's ok! =)
 

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