It will produce a sonic boom or shock wave.
As shown in the right figure,
The sound generated at A travels toward C along the path AC.
The listener hears the sound as the airplane flies toward point B. ( AB > AC )
DC is the path of the sound generated at D to the listener.
The airplane speed is V and the sound speed is Vs.
If AC/Vs > AD/V + DC/Vs
Funny! You hear something which happened later and then hear something which happened earlier !
What will you hear if a supersonic airplane flying over you?
Do you know where is the airplane when you hear it?
Can you point out the direction of the airplane just from hearing the sound?
This java applet let you play with such situation.
How to play¡G
You can press the left mouse button and drag it within the screen
The animation will be suspended when the sonic boom arrives at the listener.
Click the right mouse button to continue.
The color of the paths changes to blue.
The order in which the sound paths arrive at the listener are shown also.
You can change the ratio of airplane speed of airplane to sound speed and see the difference.
Your suggestions are highly appreciated! Please click firstname.lastname@example.org
Author¡GFu-Kwun Hwang, Dept. of physics, National Taiwan Normal UniversityLast modified : More physics related java applets