Upcoming Colloquia

Wednesday, December 7

4:00 PM, C215 ESC

Kent Gee

BYU Physics & Astronomy

That’s shocking! The physics of nonlinear sound waves, from jet aircraft to exploding balloons

Like other areas of physics, fascinating phenomena occur in acoustics when amplitudes become large enough that the simplifying assumptions we’re fond of making begin to break down.  The speed of sound is no longer the constant that we’re taught in introductory physics – different parts of the wave travel at different speeds, causing the wave’s shape to distort and shocks to form. What kind of amplitudes are required for these shocks to form?  Where do they occur?  What damage can they cause?  In this presentation, I’ll describe nonlinear sound waves and shock formation and discuss examples from my research, including military jet aircraft, rockets, and explosions.  I’ll conclude with a demonstration of an exploding acetylene-oxygen balloon.  (Hearing protection provided)

We welcome anyone who wish to attend, and typically serve refreshments ten minutes before the colloquium begins. Speakers generally keep their presentation accessible to undergraduate physics students.