Mach wave

A wave formed in front of a body when it is moving at the speed of sound. The waves do not move ahead of the body; they bunch up and form a Mach wave. A Mach wave is at right angles to the direction of movement of the body and is called a normal Mach wave. The air passing through a normal shock wave slows down to a subsonic speed while its pressure rises. A shock wave that forms on a sharp pointed object moving through the air at a speed greater than the speed of sound is called an oblique shock wave. Air passing through an oblique shock wave is slowed, but if the wave angle is less than about 70°, it will still be supersonic. The area bounded by the sides of an oblique shock wave forms the Mach cone. Also known as a Mach line.

Aviation dictionary. 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • normal Mach wave — A wave formed in front of a body when it is moving at the speed of sound. The waves do not move ahead of the body; they bunch up and form a Mach wave. If a Mach wave is at right angles to the direction of movement of the body, the wave is called… …   Aviation dictionary

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  • mach number — mach. Also, Mach number. [1935 40] * * * ▪ physics       in fluid mechanics, ratio of the velocity of a fluid to the velocity of sound in that fluid, named after Ernst Mach (Mach, Ernst) (1838–1916), an Austrian physicist and philosopher. In the… …   Universalium

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  • Mach 1 —    , MACH NUMBER    When airplanes first started to fly, their speed was measured like that of a moving vehicle on the ground. As air speeds increased, that method became obsolete, and a new method had to be found.    Ernst Mach (1838 1916), an… …   Dictionary of eponyms

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