While shock waves are an integral part of every fluid mechanics or aerodynamics course and the design of many high tech vehicles, they are rarely seen in day-to-day life. Rather, they are usually experienced as the sound of an explosion, the bang of a firecracker or gunshot, or the crack of a whip. Once visualized the flow patterns generated by shock waves can be quite spectacular. The flow visualizations are also unique in that they frequently reveal a wide variety of physical effects.
At the links below you will find a few of images along with very brief explanations of the physics. Most of these pictures have been visualized by either schlieren or shadowgraph techniques. Of course, others will have been generated numerically. An example of the latter is the numerically generated "schlieren" seen in the photo at the right. Click on the picture to learn a bit more about it.
Any further contributions to this collection are always welcome.
Further shock wave sites can be found at my
The image at the above right was provided by Professor Knut-Andreas Lie who kindly granted permission to use it here. Click on the image to learn a bit more.
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