Whip

Purpose

To illustrate transverse wave motion and how to crack a whip to create a sonic boom.

Equipment

Whip

Images

g3-43

Description

A wave started down the whip increases its velocity as the whip decreases in diameter toward the tip. By the time the wave reaches the tip of the whip, the velocity of the whip motion can become greater than the speed of sound in air.The "cracking" of a whip is believed by many physicists to be a result of the sonic boom thus created

References

Jearl Walker, Th Flying Circus of Physics WITH ANSWERS, Section 1.77 Whip Crack, and references therein.