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

Why are vapour cones from aircraft cones?

  1. Jan 1, 2016 #1
    Does the vapour cone from a high-speed aircraft correspond to the Mach angle of its sonic boom? What is the general physics responsible for a vapour cone, and why does it resemble the shape of a cone? Basically I'm wondering if this : Capture.PNG

    corresponds to this :

  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 4, 2016 #2

    Simon Bridge

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    Last edited: Jan 4, 2016
  4. Jan 5, 2016 #3


    User Avatar

    The vapor cones occur where there are expansion fans around the object, since expansion tends to cool down the gas, inducing condensation if the water vapor concentration is high enough. You can see a decent amount of the math regarding this expansion here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prandtl–Meyer_expansion_fan
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook