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Breaking Sound Barrier

July 1, 2009

All I know about supersonic is that it sounds like a huge explosion and often when the fighter jets break the sound barrier people misunderstand it for a bomb blast. Here is an interesting news and a photo.


The breaking of the sound barrier is not just an audible phenomenon. As a new picture from the U.S. military shows, Mach 1 can be quite visual.

This widely circulated new photo shows a Air Force F-22 Raptor aircraft participating in an exercise in the Gulf of Alaska June 22, 2009 as it executes a supersonic flyby over the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis.

The visual phenomenon, which sometimes but not always accompanies the breaking of the sound barrier, has also been seen with nuclear blasts and just after space shuttles launches, too. A vapor cone was photographed as the Apollo 11 moon-landing mission rocketed skyward in 1969.

The phenomenon is not well studied. Scientists refer to it as a vapor cone, shock collar, or shock egg, and it’s thought to be created by what’s called a Prandtl-Glauert singularity.

Here’s what scientists think happens:

A layer of water droplets gets trapped between two high-pressure surfaces of air. In humid conditions, condensation can gather in the trough between two crests of the sound waves produced by the jet. This effect does not necessarily coincide with the breaking of the sound barrier, although it can.

What supersonic looks like

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Ayesha permalink
    July 2, 2009 7:18 am

    Thanks for the wonderful info,this is amazing, i never knew that much.

    Just a thought though, our country was formed in the name of religion, pakistan ka matlab kya,?
    La ilaha illalla

    If Pakistan was taken by the reason of religion, then at least the founder should ahve believed in it himself, how come if he didn’t practice in religion himself did he go to such lengths helping us? I ahve readom some books recently myself about jinnah, and some …w ell thought provoking pictures of him,then why did he do it? Watw as the real motive of our country and Jinnah?

    • Ayesha permalink
      July 2, 2009 7:59 am

      Our country was indeed founded in the name of religion because Quaid wanted Muslims to be free mentally, religiously and economically but he never wanted Pakistan to be a religious fanatic state. He never talked about imposing Sha’riah in the country. In fact the mullah at the time had vehemently criticized the creation of Pakistan.

      Pakistan become possible mainly due to the struggle of Quaid and the Bengali/Behari politicians.

      Muslims are very difficult to work with generally speaking, at one time Quaid was so disgusted that he left Muslim League and politics but then on the request of Allah Iqbal he joined back.

      So Quaid was secular in his thinking and I am sure he wanted a moderate Pakistan where people stress more on education and development rather than religion (like Japneses did after being nuked).

      The real motive? Some suggest Quaid was an agent who just wanted to break the United India and he did. Each person has his own perception but really… I believe if it were up to to some mullah to create Pakistan he would have screwed up all the chances. Only the calm and calculated (dedicated too) person, who could communicate effectively with both Britishers and Hindus in English could make it possible.

  2. July 2, 2009 9:03 am

    Cool Stuff .. but

    What religion have to with the Science as a division in our life ? well as we all know Science isn’t here in Pakistan as it should be .. so Allah Allah kar bhia Allah se to Dar Bhia.

    • Ayesha permalink
      July 2, 2009 7:26 pm

      Apparently she should have posted that comment on my other post about Quaid’s great grandson. She posted here so I replied here 🙂

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