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Sonic boom
Sonic boom
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  1. 1. Wave Propagation and the Sonic Boom
  2. 2. What is a sonic boom? Sonic boom: A loud noise caused by the shock wave created when an aircraft surpasses the speed of sound (340.29m/s). Shock waves such as this can also be created from explosions as seen in the image below.
  3. 3. How is a sonic boom created? • A sonic boom is produced when the sound waves created by the aircraft can no longer travel fast enough to propagate away from the plane ahead of its flight. • A sonic boom is a shock wave
  4. 4. Shock Waves • Shock Wave: A wave that moves faster than the speed of sound in a medium. • Just before the speed of sound is reached the wave fronts of sound waves “pile up” in front of the object this is the sound barrier. • When the speed of a source exceeds the speed of sound and the wave fronts trail behind the source. • This creates a conical wave (the shock wave) that fans out behind the object.
  5. 5. Did you know?? • It is very dangerous for pilots to fly at the speed of sound because of the “sound barrier.” – A piling up of waves in front of the aircraft. • The sound barrier is a drastic increase in drag and other aerodynamic effects when an object approaches the sound barrier. • This can make an aircraft difficult to steer and/or accelerate.

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