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The sound source is travelling at 1.4 times the speed of sound (Mach 1.4). Since the source is moving faster than the sound waves it creates, it leads the advancing wavefront. The sound source will pass by a stationary observer before the observer hears the sound it creates.
A sonic boom produced by an aircraft moving at M=2.92, calculated from the cone angle of 20 degrees. An observer hears nothing but a boom when the shock wave, on the edges of the cone, crosses his or her location.
Mach cone angle
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A sonic boom is the sound associated with the shock waves created by an object traveling through the air faster than the speed of sound. Sonic booms generate enormous amounts of sound energy, sounding much like an explosion. The crack of a supersonic bullet passing overhead or the crack of a bullwhip are examples of a sonic boom in miniature.<ref>Mike May, Crackin' Good Mathematics, American Scientist, Volume 90, Number 5, 2002</ref>


Sonic boom sections
Intro  Causes  Measurement and examples  Abatement  Perception and noise  Health impact  Bullwhip  See also  References  External links  

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