Sonic Booms Essay

675 words - 3 pages

A sonic boom is created by a fascinating process. This report will show how a sonic boom is caused. It will also define what a sonic boom is.A sonic boom is a loud noise similar to thunder ("USAF Fact Sheet"). A sonic boom is usually caused by an airplane flying very fast (Griffy 593). It can also be caused by a space shuttle or even a car (Griffy 593). Sonic booms are also called shock waves (Stambler 124). An object reaching the speed of sound is said to be crossing the sound barrier (Griffy 593). The sound barrier is broken at 750 miles per hour, but the sound barrier speed changes with altitude and temperature (Stambler 122). A sonic boom can be so loud it can cause damage to houses, but it can not hurt people (Stambler 123).Since the sound barrier has been broken, people are able to go into outer space (Stambler 123).Sonic booms are created by air pressure ("NASA Facts"). When an object passes by, the molecules have to get rid of extra energy so they expand (Stambler 124). When you are going faster than the sound barrier they expand more quickly, therefore, they cause a sonic boom (Stambler 124). Molecules can actually be seen moving around an object when it is going faster than the speed of sound (Stambler 124). When the molecules move around the object that is called dynamic pressure (Stambler 123).An airplane has two sonic booms because of the front and tail (Giancoli 335).Most of the time no one can tell there are two booms instead of one ("NASA Facts").The interval between the two booms is about one tenth of a second at sea level ("NASA Facts"). The interval changes however depending on altitude ("NASA Facts").Breaking the sound barrier is based on high mach flight (Stambler 123). Mach flight is a way of measuring very fast speeds (Stambler 123). The higher the mach number the faster the speed (Stambler 123). A mach five would be faster than a mach three (Stambler...

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