Home | Physics | What is a Shock Wave?-Definition, Generation, Types, And Applications

What is a Shock Wave?-Definition, Generation, Types, And Applications

August 19, 2022
written by Adeel Abbas

A shock wave is a type of electromagnetic wave that occurs when an electric current flows through a medium. The medium can be air, water, or anything else which contains conductive particles.

What is a Shock Wave?

Shockwaves are high-frequency sound waves that travel at speeds greater than the speed of sound (approximately 1,100 miles per hour). These waves are generated by a variety of devices including air guns, water cannons, and piezoelectric transducers.

Shock waves are created through various sources like electrical currents, lightning strikes, and nuclear explosions. The frequency of the shock wave depends on the speed of the current. At a low speed, the frequency of the shock wave is high while at a higher speed, the frequency decreases.

Shock waves travel in the form of waves. Shock waves travel in the form of waves at a velocity of around 2,200 km/s. Shock waves have the ability to penetrate solid objects like metal, stone, and wood. The density of the medium is the key factor in generating shock waves.

Shockwaves are created when a wave travels faster than its surroundings. When a wave travels at a speed greater than the surrounding air, the air gets compressed and is forced outwards. This creates a shockwave.

How to generate a shock wave?

Shock waves are generated through the use of an electric charge. There are several methods that can be used to generate a shock wave including

Types of shock wave

There are two types of shock wave

  • Oblique shocks
  • Bow shocks

Oblique shocks

When analyzing shock waves in a flow field, which are still attached to the body, the shock wave which is deviating at some arbitrary angle from the flow direction is referred to as oblique shock. In order for the oblique shock to be treated as a normal shock, it is necessary to analyze the flow in a way that allows for the treatment of the flow in an orthogonal direction to the oblique shock.

Bow shocks

The shock wave will form a continuous pattern around the body when an oblique shock is likely to form at an angle that cannot remain on the surface. Bow shocks are what they are referred to as. The 1d flow model is not valid in these cases because the further analysis is needed to predict the pressure forces which are exerted on the surface.

Shock wave Application

The use of shock waves in medicine has been going on for a long time. They are used in dentistry to remove plaque from the teeth. In physical therapy, they are used to treat muscle spasms and joint pain.

In addition to traumatology, shock waves are also used in orthopedics. Potential applications in cancer, cardiology, dentistry, gene therapy, cell transfection, a transformation of fungi and bacteria, as well as the inactivation of microorganisms are all promising approaches for clinical treatment, industrial applications, and research.

File Under: