Conceptual Physics (12th Edition)

Published by Addison-Wesley
ISBN 10: 0321909100
ISBN 13: 978-0-32190-910-7

Chapter 19 - Think and Explain: 84

Answer

When an aircraft flies at subsonic speeds, the sound waves reach our ears as one continuous tone. The shock wave that is perceived as a sonic boom occurs only when waves overlap and constructively interfere to form a strong burst. This only happens when the speed of the source exceeds the wave speed.

Work Step by Step

This is discussed on pages 367-368, and shown in Figure 19.20.
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