Phenomena

Shock Waves From a Gun

Often fluid motion is invisible to the human eye. Researchers use techniques like schlieren photography to make changes in fluid density apparent. In this high-speed schlieren photo, an AK-47 is being fired. The spherical shock wave centered on the gun’s muzzle is due to the explosive discharge of gases used to fire the bullet.  At the left of the frame, the bullet also causes a shock wave, this time a conical one, as it travels supersonically out of the gun.

Photo Source; Credit: Gary Settles, Penn State Gas Dynamics Lab

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