The Sonic Boom, as seen above, is caused by the Doppler Effect - that thing Sheldon explained on the Big Bang Theory.

When an object is stationary, while emitting sound, the sound waves spread out uniformly in a circle from the source, as seen in the second image, however when that object begins, as seen in the third image, to move the circles are not emanating from the same position, so the troughs and crests (represented by the black lines) of each wave are in are closer together on one side and further apart on the other.

So when the object is traveling at the speed of sound all the troughs/crests are perfectly aligned on one side, where they then amplify each other (positive and negative superposition) producing a loud burst of sound and also pressurising the air close to the source which is why a cloud is seen.

This effect can also be observed with light, theoritically, however first we need to make something that can, somehow, reach the speed of light ;)

  1. lostrambler7 reblogged this from hotrocks1
  2. notreallyanengineer reblogged this from infrastructural
  3. novagetsfitter reblogged this from jlayton4
  4. jlayton4 reblogged this from engineeringofjose
  5. let-the-gains-begin reblogged this from engineeringofjose
  6. gatsbysdilemma reblogged this from letsget-fit-on
  7. letsget-fit-on reblogged this from engineeringofjose
  8. goodbodygreatheart reblogged this from engineeringofjose
  9. engineeringofjose reblogged this from infrastructural
  10. rcdx10 reblogged this from infrastructural
  11. infrastructural reblogged this from anengineersaspect and added:
    We have to design high speed rail tunnels so that there are no residual effects from air vibrations caused by trains...
  12. rslaymaker reblogged this from anengineersaspect
  13. entro-pi reblogged this from thatscienceguy
  14. hotrocks1 reblogged this from anengineersaspect
  15. anengineersaspect reblogged this from thatscienceguy
  16. yesallthescience reblogged this from thatscienceguy
  17. retroriginal reblogged this from thatscienceguy
  18. arianelalibre reblogged this from stardust-seedling
  19. wcrocodile reblogged this from thatscienceguy
  20. fromtheweirdtotheinsane reblogged this from alvarson
  21. thepotatoeswillrule reblogged this from saengcreamcake
  22. andydoesablog reblogged this from verusmihi
  23. worth-living-4 reblogged this from badwolfhunter
  24. badwolfhunter reblogged this from thatscienceguy
  25. trans-vegan reblogged this from sagansense
  26. daynearerdying reblogged this from astro-stoner
Short URL for this post: http://tmblr.co/Z6uQzsjGr2ws