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Why do supersonic sources create sonic booms?

  1. Feb 23, 2010 #1
    Why do supersonic waves (when the source is faster than the wave) create sonic booms? I understand that when a source breaks the sound barrier and travels at the speed of its waves, the waves just build up at the front of the source and create a condensed sound of multiply sound waves added together, creating a sonic boom. Yet, when a source is faster than the waves, there is no buildup of waves because a new wave is created in front of the last and goes the same velocity as it so it wouldn't catch up. How do these sources create sonic booms?

    http://physics.info/shock/doppler-shock-4.html [Broken]
    see, they dont overlap
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  2. jcsd
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